The Australian LGBTI community still has weeks to wait before the stupid postal survey on our civil right to equality closes. Even if the result is yes, who knows how long it will be before the fearful Turnbull government gets around to allowing a private member’s bill to be introduced into parliament to change the marriage act. Even then, can we be guaranteed that all LNP members of parliament are going to support it? No.
That means same-sex marriage might not even happen until the next time Labor comes to power – and only if they stick to their promise of changing the legislation in their first 100 days in government.
Australian LGBTI couples have been marrying offshore for some time, most commonly in New Zealand. Now there’s another option – do it at sea. Captains of ships are legally able to conduct marriage ceremonies in international waters. The marriage is then registered in the country in which the ship is registered. In the case of Celebrity Cruises, that country is Malta, who recently passed same-sex marriage, 66 to 1 in a parliamentary vote.
Celebrity Cruises’ CEO and President, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, announced today that the captains of their ships have been given company approval to conduct same-sex weddings on board. To date, Celebrity Cruises are the only cruise company to do so. Lutoff-Perlo says she is thrilled to be able to offer legalised marriages to Australian same-sex couples. “We’re committed to opening up the world to everyone, and championing diversity in all its forms,” she says, adding that the company will also sponsor the Australian LGBTI Awards, to be held early next year in Sydney.