Marriage equality: UN criticises Australia for refusing same-sex divorce

United Nations says Australian laws stopping same-sex couples who marry legally overseas from getting divorced violates human rights

Australian laws stopping same-sex couples who married overseas from getting divorced violate international human rights obligations, the United Nations has found.

The UN human rights committee (UNHRC) ruled an Australian woman, Dr Fiona Kumari Campbell, has been denied equal protection of the law because Australia does not allow her to end her legal, Canadian same-sex marriage.

The UNHRC ruling determined that: In the absence of more convincing explanations from the state party, the committee considers that the differentiation of treatment based on her sexual orientation to which the author is subjected regarding access to divorce proceedings is not based on reasonable and objective criteria and therefore constitutes discrimination under article 26 of the covenant.

Article 26 of the international covenant on civil and political rights says all people are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

The UNHRC has recognised the unacceptability of differential treatment between different categories of foreign marriages, said Kumari.

This is another nail in the coffin of Australias prohibition on marriage equality.

LGBTI rights activist Rodney Croome said this was a timely reminder to the Australian government that banning same-sex couples from marriage is a breach of human rights.

This decision highlights the fact that the failure of the Government to treat LGBTI people as full and equal citizens is an international embarrassment, Croome said.

The decision comes two days before the Liberal party room is due to debate Government policy on marriage equality.

Australian Associated Press contributed to this report

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/05/marriage-equality-un-criticises-australia-for-refusing-same-sex-divorce

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