Statutes Amendment (Legalisation of Same Sex Marriage Consequential Amendments) Bill

Second Reading

I wish to acknowledge the two speakers who have contributed to this debate and the indication of the opposition's support for the bill. I also appreciate the indications of support for the primarily nationally significant reforms that have resulted in our having the responsibility to now make our legislation consistent with that.

By virtue of this bill, we are not only replacing 'husband' and/or 'wife' with appropriate words such as 'spouse' and 'surviving spouse' instead of 'widow' or 'widower' and the like but also dealing with modern-day circumstances—for example, dealing with what we call modern-day bigamy, where somebody might be married once under the usual arrangements of marriage but then also be on the register for cohabitation relationships. We need to deal with these issues. They are new, modern, publicly recognised and supported relationships and, accordingly, this legislation is important.

If I have not already indicated, consultation on this matter was quite significant for obvious reasons. Other than the usual suspects or those who are directly affected by each of the acts of parliament that we are amending, the most significant one here, of course, is the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, who is not frequently called upon as the most significant stakeholder in these matters. However, it is the registrar's responsibility to make sure that we have the model of record to ensure that these things can be implemented.

It is also important, in our own use of all the legislation that is being considered, whether that deals with superannuation entitlements of a solicitor-general, whether it involves matters under the Evidence Act for the proper administration of the receiving of evidence in courts or whether it relates to matters such as the Settled Estates Act of 1880. So it crosses a number of areas. We need to contemporise these, and that is exactly what this bill is doing. Whilst it is narrow in its purpose, it is expansive across all sorts of laws that we use here in South Australia. I thank members for their support.

Bill read a second time.