ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury has called on the Federal Government to now legislate for an end to marriage discrimination after the High Court has ruled the ACT’s Marriage Equality Bill unlawful.
“Today’s ruling from the High Court was about legal technicalities – it was not about the morality, the common sense or the human importance of ending marriage discrimination,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“Attorney General George Brandis indicated that the Federal Government challenged the ACT’s legislation in the High Court for constitutional reasons rather than moral opposition.
“Now that the High Court has made the constitutional issues clear, the Greens call on the Abbott Government to do what is right both constitutionally and morally, and legislate an end to marriage discrimination, something the majority of Australians want to see.
Fat chance of that from this government but if Labor wants to make too much of it they really should make it party platform.
Today the High Court decided unanimously that the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013, enacted by the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory, cannot operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act 1961. The Court held that the federal Parliament has power under the Australian Constitution to legislate with respect to same sex marriage, and that under the Constitution and federal law as it now stands, whether same sex marriage should be provided for by law is a matter for the federal Parliament.
The ACT Government has urged the Federal Government to ensure equality for all Australians, after a disappointing outcome in the High Court, which ruled today that the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 is invalid, Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, said.
Mr Corbell said the Prime Minister should now allow a conscience vote on same sex marriage in the Federal Parliament.
“Now is the time for a national debate on this issue as we witnessed the joy of those couples that have been married since Saturday, when the first weddings took place under the ACT Government’s law.
“The High Court has ruled that the Commonwealth Act is a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law of marriage, therefore states and territories are unable to legislate for same sex marriage.”
Mr Corbell said the ACT had shown leadership by passing laws for same sex marriage.
Simon unapologetic for the colossal waste of time, effort and people’s lives:
ACT unapologetic for attempt at #marriageequality, it's time for the Fed Parl to bring marriage law in line with 21st Century Australia
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the High Court’s decision to reject the ACT’s same-sex marriage laws.
Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the ruling upholds uniformity of marriage laws across the country.
“The ACT’s “marriage” laws were inconsistent with the federal laws and incapable of concurrent operation,” he said.
“This ruling shows it is not the jurisdiction of states to legislate in regards to marriage,” Mr Shelton said.
“It’s important for marriage laws to continue to be administered federally – this is why the Marriage Act was passed in 1961 to have uniform marriage laws,” he said.
In the Canberra Times Crispin Hull is trying to paint it as a win for marriage equality as marriage is now defined as possibly applying beyond the hetero norm.
This correspondent is not convinced any Commonwealth marriage equality laws would ever have faced serious threat on that front, but if it brings someone some joy then that’s something out of this mess.
This from one of those who got married:
So. We're legally de-married. Here's an exclusive: we're as married in our hearts as we ever were. #onwards