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Same sex couples

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Is a same sex relationship recognised by law?

  • Same sex couples cannot legally marry in Australia.
  • Same sex relationships are recognised as de facto relationships for some legalĀ purposesĀ but not all.
  • Same sex couples can own property jointly and have the same rights to property settlement as other de facto couples in Queensland.
  • Same sex couples can leave property to each other in their will and can appoint each other in a power of attorney or statutory health authority.
  • A de facto partner, including same sex couples, are considered spouses under the intestacy rules.
  • Domestic violence protection orders are available to same sex couples.
  • Same sex couples cannot legally adopt a child but can be considered as foster carers.

When is sexual activity an offence?

  • Sexual activity with an adult of the same sex is not a criminal offence.
  • In Queensland, anal sex with someone under 18 years of age is a criminal offence.
  • Sexual activity with a person under 16 years of age is a criminal offence.


Disclaimer - Copyright © 1997 Legal Aid Queensland. This content is provided as an information source only and is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer. Legal Aid Queensland believes the information is accurate as at 1 July 2007 but accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and denies all liability for any expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur due to the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way.