Simon’s screwed the pooch. High Court throws out Marriage Equality

By 12 December, 2013 150

high court

As expected the High Court has ruled against Simon Corbell’s gay marriage laws.

Will he have the decency to resign?

More to come.


Shane Rattenbury says it’s up to the Federales now:

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.


UPDATE: The High Court’s judgment summary is now available:

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.


FURTHER UPDATE: Simon Corbell is applauding his own leadership and hoping for a warm fuzzy out of the Liberals:

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:


Andrew Barr talking big:


The Greens are pushing again for a conscience vote:


Perhaps the greatest sin of all, Simon has brought joy to the Australian Christian Lobby:

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:


Canberra’s Labor members are calling on Tony Abbott to think again:

We are very disappointed with the decision by the High Court to strike out the territory’s same-sex marriage law.

This is a grim day for those same-sex couples that took advantage of the ACT’s ground-breaking legislation and tied the knot since Saturday.

We commend ACT Labor on its efforts to advance the cause of equality.

We also respect the decision of the High Court.

The Prime Minister must now deliver on his pledge that the Liberal Party room will revisit the question of whether to have a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.

The Abbott Government chose to mount this legal challenge at a cost to taxpayers when this is an inherently political decision that should be decided in the Federal Parliament.

[Photo by Josh]

Please login to post your comments
150 Responses to Simon’s screwed the pooch. High Court throws out Marriage Equality
#1
housebound12:29 pm, 12 Dec 13

No. But I wouldn’t suggest he resign over that. Maybe over incompetence in other areas, but why that this one thing?

#2
chewy1412:35 pm, 12 Dec 13

What a farce, well done ACT government.

You’ve wasted money, crushed normal people’s desires and generally stuffed up just to feed your own sense of importance.

Should always have been left as a federal issue.

#3
PantsMan12:40 pm, 12 Dec 13

A 6 to nil decision that was so straight forward they could write it in a week. A bloodbath in legal terms.

Simon should WALK for so incompetently playing with the lives and relationships of gays and lesbians in this way for his own petty political agenda.

#4
Barcham12:42 pm, 12 Dec 13

He tried to do something right by people, he risked his own career and reputation to do the right thing, and came oh so close to succeeding. If not for the evil of others he would have made our country a better place.

Should he resign? No.

Should he be given a medal? Yes.

Should those who try to stop social progress and deny people equal rights resign? Yes.

#5
CrocodileGandhi12:49 pm, 12 Dec 13

Sadly, even if we do get a vote in Federal Parliament, and even if every Labor member voted for it, it still woudn’t get through. Unfortunately we have far too many people in Parliament who are on the wrong side of 50 and the wrong side of history. I wonder how they’ll feel 30 years from now when gay marriage is legal in most democracies around the world. Probably similar to those who stood against women voting, interracial marriages, blacks voting, aboriginals being considered human under law etc.

#6
JessP12:51 pm, 12 Dec 13

Barcham said :

and came oh so close to succeeding.

6-0 is close? Really?

#7
PantsMan12:55 pm, 12 Dec 13

Is Barr quoting Trotsky?

#8
JimiBostock12:57 pm, 12 Dec 13

You are so full of crap JohnBoy … actually you bore me to tears with your stupidity.

Why would Corbell or anyone else resign over this … yes, the laws were inconsistent but they have ushered in the inevitability of the end of this infantile inequality.

Where do you stand JohnBoy … do you stand for inequality? Fess up mate. Would be good to know … long suspected you as a tory … would be good to clear the air on that

#9
mossrocket1:02 pm, 12 Dec 13

Barcham said :

He tried to do something right by people, he risked his own career and reputation to do the right thing, and came oh so close to succeeding. If not for the evil of others he would have made our country a better place.

Should he resign? No.

Should he be given a medal? Yes.

Should those who try to stop social progress and deny people equal rights resign? Yes.

Hang on a second, before we beatify the Attorney General…
He was told by the expert he got to look at the amendment to the ACT that it would fail without changes, and refused to change it.
He knew that the amendment to the ACT would fail, but pushed ahead anyway.

The gov allowed 30 couples to get married, knowing that this was likely to happen.
That’s pretty shameful.

So – an alternative? I’m not against the outcome proposed, but this requires a lot more support before change will happen – we’ve come a long way since homosexuality was illegal, but we have a long way to go.

So to the honourable Simon: propose a referendum; seek consensus at COAG; get allies; really make a difference…

#10
DUB1:08 pm, 12 Dec 13

Hooray!
Hara-kiri time for Simon. Oh wait, he does not have any honour. Just jump into LBG instead. All your possessions (add Katy’s and Barr’s as well) shall be sold at the public auction to repay whatever taxpayers’ money were spent (wasted) on this High Court challenge). Effwits!

#11
DUB1:09 pm, 12 Dec 13

Barcham said :

He tried to do something right by people, he risked his own career and reputation to do the right thing, and came oh so close to succeeding.

Should he resign? No.

Should he be given a medal? Yes.

Should those who try to stop social progress and deny people equal rights resign? Yes.

Nothing stops you from going to NZ to get married, Barcham.

#12
caf1:11 pm, 12 Dec 13

It most certainly wasn’t a complete waste of time – the High Court has clarified that when the Constitution says “marriage”, it includes same-sex marriage:

The Court held that the federal Parliament has power under the Australian Constitution to legislate with respect to same sex marriage,…

Opponents of same-sex marriage have in the past argued that the Constitution doesn’t give the Federal Parliament the power to legislate for same-sex marriage even if it wanted to, relying on the idea that “marriage”, at least as referred to in the Constitution, excludes this case. The High Court has knocked that particular idea on the head, which isn’t without value.

#13
PantsMan1:12 pm, 12 Dec 13

PantsMan said :

Is Barr quoting Trotsky?

Correction, it’s Martin Luther King.

I see Barr thinks he’s as oppressed as slaves.

The taxpayers are the ones oppressed.

#14
johnboy1:25 pm, 12 Dec 13

Wow Jimi,

Do you want to get into character assassinations with me in a public forum?

I support marriage equality.

I also want an attorney-general competent enough to legislate constitutionally.

I want an ACT Government devoting its time and energy to its responsibilities.

And I don’t want a government grandstanding pointlessly to national applause while sacrificing 27 couples relationships to garner headlines.

But you go ahead and suspect me of anything you want.

#15
magiccar91:26 pm, 12 Dec 13

chewy14 said :

What a farce, well done ACT government.

You’ve wasted money, crushed normal people’s desires and generally stuffed up just to feed your own sense of importance.

Should always have been left as a federal issue.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

#16
c_c™2:08 pm, 12 Dec 13

Oh Johnboy, you’re smarter than that. No, he shouldn’t resign, and it’s a dome question frankly.

The High Court has come up with a clever blend of originalist reason and living document application to expand Commonwealth power and cover the field, leaving a void now that can only be remedied by the legislature. One interpretation may be that the court felt uncomfortable with a possible perception that it was legislating for social change, and reading between the lines, feels that the legislature must give such things its democratic legitimacy.

The Court’s reasoning is not incorrect, but certainly the High Court has found no problem with allowing concurrent regulation of other issues in the past with far greater practical reifications than this issue. So it feels artificially restrictive. Certainly there’s more to it than what is in the judgement, the full text of which is now online (so I hope people stop citing the damn media release as law!)

#17
Barcham2:11 pm, 12 Dec 13

DUB said :

Barcham said :

He tried to do something right by people, he risked his own career and reputation to do the right thing, and came oh so close to succeeding.

Should he resign? No.

Should he be given a medal? Yes.

Should those who try to stop social progress and deny people equal rights resign? Yes.

Nothing stops you from going to NZ to get married, Barcham.

Ha! I get it, you’re calling me gay.

How hilarious! Like being gay would be some sort of insult, because obviously I’d take offence to the idea of being gay because like ewww right? Because it’s bad to be gay I guess?

Or is it that you think that the only possible reason someone could care about equal rights is if they themselves are in an oppressed minority? Because compassion and empathy don’t exist right? Or at least they obviously don’t in your world view.

Some well timed homophobia, nicely done there.

Really waving your bigot banner there right when Canberra needs to see it the most.

#18
CrocodileGandhi2:16 pm, 12 Dec 13

Barcham said :

DUB said :

Barcham said :

He tried to do something right by people, he risked his own career and reputation to do the right thing, and came oh so close to succeeding.

Should he resign? No.

Should he be given a medal? Yes.

Should those who try to stop social progress and deny people equal rights resign? Yes.

Nothing stops you from going to NZ to get married, Barcham.

Ha! I get it, you’re calling me gay.

How hilarious! Like being gay would be some sort of insult, because obviously I’d take offence to the idea of being gay because like ewww right? Because it’s bad to be gay I guess?

Or is it that you think that the only possible reason someone could care about equal rights is if they themselves are in an oppressed minority? Because compassion and empathy don’t exist right? Or at least they obviously don’t in your world view.

Some well timed homophobia, nicely done there.

Really waving your bigot banner there right when Canberra needs to see it the most.

And if you did get married to a bloke in NZ, it wouldn’t be recognised here due to yet another ridiculous law.

#19
dtc2:18 pm, 12 Dec 13

chewy14 said :

What a farce, well done ACT government.

You’ve wasted money, crushed normal people’s desires and generally stuffed up just to feed your own sense of importance.

Should always have been left as a federal issue.

Actually…until the High Court ruling there was no guarantee that the Federal parliament actually had the power to legislate in respect of same sex marriages

ie: had the High Court said ‘when the Constitution was drafted the word ‘marriage’ mean hetero marriage, therefore the states, in giving this power to the Federal Parliament, could only have intended to give power in respect of hetero marriage’.

Not an inarguable proposition. I mean, the US Supreme Court is heavily ‘originalist’ and several judges would have come to that conclusion.

Note, as mentioned above, that when Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan says
“Marriage has always been between a man and a woman and should always remain between one man and one woman.” (quoted in the linked CT article) he is now constitutionally incorrect. The High Court has defined marriage as “a consensual union formed between natural persons” (persons, not man and woman). A phrase I am sure you will hear many times over the coming years, up until someone Federally has the guts to make a change.

#20
PantsMan2:20 pm, 12 Dec 13

Simon is a Labor Dullard masquerading as an Attorney-General. He does not even know what the ACT Government is actually responsible for.

That is a sackable offence.

Full. Stop.

#21
LadyxBec2:29 pm, 12 Dec 13

It would be nice to see someone attacking the Abbot government for wasting money trying to prevent equal marriage, which is just as wastful as the ACT trying to legalise it.

Honestly, I think it was worth a crack and saying the people who got married have been taken advantage of is a bit of a stretch, they knew this was a possibility and I suspect they were happy to be “used” in the name of the cause.

#22
Diggety2:30 pm, 12 Dec 13

I think the gay marriage train has been on the wrong tracks long enough, and this just derailed it.

The problem with its lack of success is that they tend to recruit Left wing activism for their cause, where it really is the mainstream they need to appeal to.

In this instance, they should have directed their efforts Federally, not with a local council.

#23
Affirmative Action M2:32 pm, 12 Dec 13

JimiBostock said :

You are so full of crap JohnBoy … actually you bore me to tears with your stupidity.

Why would Corbell or anyone else resign over this … yes, the laws were inconsistent but they have ushered in the inevitability of the end of this infantile inequality.

Where do you stand JohnBoy … do you stand for inequality? Fess up mate. Would be good to know … long suspected you as a tory … would be good to clear the air on that

I don’t generally have a problem with Gay Marriage but if fascists like you support it then I’m against.

There is not much difference between the Extreme Christian Right & venom spitting extremist elements of the gay lobby.

Corbell should stick to sewerage & rubbish collection & leave these issues to the grown ups.

#24
HiddenDragon2:40 pm, 12 Dec 13

“Fat chance of that from this government but if Labor wants to make too much of it they really should make it party platform.” – yes, but a visibly emotional PM, who spoke of Obama’s “splendid panegyric” for Nelson Mandela, in remarks at the beginning of today’s Question Time, may yet surprise us. With big Budget deficits for the forseeable future, both major parties may be looking for low (financial) cost issues to talk about by the time of the next election.

#25
chewy142:42 pm, 12 Dec 13

Barcham said :

DUB said :

Barcham said :

He tried to do something right by people, he risked his own career and reputation to do the right thing, and came oh so close to succeeding.

Should he resign? No.

Should he be given a medal? Yes.

Should those who try to stop social progress and deny people equal rights resign? Yes.

Nothing stops you from going to NZ to get married, Barcham.

Ha! I get it, you’re calling me gay.

How hilarious! Like being gay would be some sort of insult, because obviously I’d take offence to the idea of being gay because like ewww right? Because it’s bad to be gay I guess?

Or is it that you think that the only possible reason someone could care about equal rights is if they themselves are in an oppressed minority? Because compassion and empathy don’t exist right? Or at least they obviously don’t in your world view.

Some well timed homophobia, nicely done there.

Really waving your bigot banner there right when Canberra needs to see it the most.

Way to verbal someone, that’s far too many strawmen for one comment you should have split it into two.
Whatever DUB meant, he certainly didn’t say anything like what youve implied, at worst he called you gay. Wow, he’s obviously original.

As for your first comment, you’ve basically implied that Corbell should be applauded for exceeding his brief, wasting our money and using ordinary citizens as pawns because you personally agree with him. I’m sure you’d be less than effusive about him if it was about an issue you didn’t agree with.

#26
Barcham2:54 pm, 12 Dec 13

I see this as a very simple series of events.

One party went out of it’s way to give an oppressed minority a small sample of the rights everyone else enjoys, which was the morally right thing to do.

One party went out of it’s way to take those rights away after they had been given, which was the morally wrong thing to do.

The Australian Government actively and intentionally decided to take away the rights of a specific group of Australians.

Any argument, idea, definition of roles, discussion of boundaries, defence of a process, etc, that attempts to justify the actions of the second party, and/or condemn the actions of the first, is an argument that promotes the idea of human rights being stripped from minorities.

I’m sure you think the situation is more complex than this, but those layers of complexity don’t change the fact that you’re saying that oppression is OK so long as it is done by the book.

By saying that Simon wasted everyone’s time and money, you’re saying that the fight for social equality is a waste of time and money.

By saying that they shouldn’t have bothered knowing how unlikely it was to go through, you’re saying that the value of an action or believe is determined by how likely it is to succeed, rather than by how much good it can do in the world.

I disagree entirely with you.

You’re vilifying the guy who fought for human rights.

I’m going to say that again.

You’re vilifying the guy who fought for human rights.

#27
neanderthalsis3:09 pm, 12 Dec 13

Barcham said :

He tried to do something right by people, he risked his own career and reputation to do the right thing, and came oh so close to succeeding. If not for the evil of others he would have made our country a better place.

Should he resign? No.

Should he be given a medal? Yes.

Should those who try to stop social progress and deny people equal rights resign? Yes.

Were they told it would not pass the High Court due? Yes.

Did they tighten the legislation in line with recommendation from Constitutional lawyers to get it past the High Court? No.

Were they more interested in plating a political game to embarrass the new Coalition Government than supporting marriage equality? Yes.

Did their foolish game quash the dreams of many same sex couples in Australia due to their incompetence and/or pigheadedness? Yes.

Should Simon resign? No, but he should hang his head in shame.

Should Barcham, as a contributing journalist on the RiotACT, be a little less biased and a lot more objective in his commentary? Yes.

#28
johnboy3:11 pm, 12 Dec 13

6 judges to none ruled that it was no business of the ACT Attorney-General to make laws on this issue.

If he didn’t know that was going to happen he should have.

If it wasn’t just cheap partisan point scoring maybe he would have done it while his own side were in the house on the hill.

#29
neanderthalsis3:14 pm, 12 Dec 13

LadyxBec said :

It would be nice to see someone attacking the Abbot government for wasting money trying to prevent equal marriage, which is just as wastful as the ACT trying to legalise it.

Honestly, I think it was worth a crack and saying the people who got married have been taken advantage of is a bit of a stretch, they knew this was a possibility and I suspect they were happy to be “used” in the name of the cause.

This is not at all about Tony Abbott, this is about the ACT Government trying to legislate that which is not permissible under the Australian constitution. If this ACT legislation has been proposed two years ago under the Gillard Government, the outcome would have been exactly the same as it was today.

#30
Gungahlin Al3:19 pm, 12 Dec 13

Oh joy. Courtesy of Canberra Times sharing my tweet, MrGillespie has found me on Twitter, and was nice enough to SHOUT his homophobia at me.
Blockity block block.

Well said Barcham! Kudos to Simon and Shane working together to try get this through. No matter what people think about the handling of the legisilation, it was Tony Abbott who made the decision to take this to the High Court. If the Liberals hadn’t challenged it, then the ACT law would have stood.

It was a total act of bastardry by Abbott and his crew, and I am disgusted.

Advertisement
GET PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP

Halloween in Australia?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

IMAGES OF CANBERRA

Advertisement
Sponsors
RiotACT Proudly Supports
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.