BLOG - The Commonwealth v The ACT: Marriage Equality in the High Court

Ryan Goss

    Research output: Other contribution

    Abstract

    On Thursday the High Court of Australia effectively struck down the nations first same-sex marriage laws. But there was a silver lining for marriage equality activists: in striking down marriage laws passed by a territorial parliament, the High Court firmly indicated that it was within the constitutional power of the Australian national parliament to legislate for same-sex marriage. The Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013was enacted by the legislature of the Australian Capital Territory (the A.C.T.) in October 2013. The law provided for a form of marriage equality within the A.C.T., and the first marriages under the legislation took place over the weekend of 7-8 December. But there was a wedding crasher. Shortly after the laws were passed, the federal government (the Commonwealth) announced a High Court challenge, arguing that the laws were inconsistent with existing federal legislation on marriage and divorce, and that those federal laws provided a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law for all of Australia. The Court reserved its decision for 10 days and a number of weddings took place in the interim.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherOxford Human Rights Hub
    Place of PublicationOxford, UK
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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