Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Expert strata, facilities & building management services

Plebiscite an abrogation of responsibility

By John Hargreaves 19 September 2016 57

marriage equality

What’s all this rubbish about having a plebiscite on whether two people can “marry”? why all the fuss and why all the expense? Why can’t the elected representatives just get on with it and vote and change the legislation?

The conservatives know that the likelihood of a success in a plebiscite in normal conditions is not good as can be shown by referenda in the past.  This is just a tactic.  They say that this is such a conscience issue that we need a whole of citizenship conversation. Well that didn’t stop them just legislating against the euthanasia laws of the NT or the right to marry in the ACT!

Civil marriage is different to the religious ceremony and in many societies one has to do both, France for example. This is true separation of church and state. And so it should be here!

No one is asking the churches, mosques, temples or other heavenly gateways to change the teachings of their founders.  If the religious doctrine says “thou shalt not enter into wedlock with [insert description here]” then so be it.  But the secular world takes its lead from the progress of its society. It is acceptable to have different attitudes and morays in each of the secular and non-secular worlds. We have moved on, guys!

Let’s get this straight.  The advocates of marriage equality are not changing anything really.  Same sex couples have been together as partners and parents since forever and will continue to do so.

All this plebiscite will do is to give a platform for denigration, discrimination, diminution and will give the anti-LBGTQI movement a platform to cast doubt on the legitimacy of relationships and wreak pain and suffering on so many people.

With their sanctimonious self-righteousness and direct link to the Almighty, the far-right conservatives are going to publicly tell kids that their same sex parents are subjecting the kids to unnatural environments.  They will be putting confusion in the minds of these kids. Most kids just respond to love and affection, encouragement and support.  They don’t care if their parents are different to other parents.

It may have been the case in the past with parents of different colour, of different religion, of different careers but not anymore. This hasn’t been the case for decades and these far-right religious zealots should come into the modern and real world.  The Inquisition is over.

Torquemada has a new name and it is Bernardi! The Church does not rule in Australia and the sooner these people get it the better.

But we’re going to give every bible bashing, homophobic, fruitcake bigot a platform to spruik bile at those whose only problem is that they wish to have the same expression of their love as the rest of us.

And we’re going to pay dearly for it. The PM and ScoMo rant on about fiscal responsibility and economic strength. They constantly talk about their hero Jobson Groff. But they’re OK with chucking $160 million on a non-binding chatfest and are contemplating giving another $10 million to help both sides put their case.  What part about abrogation of their responsibility don’t they get?

For mine, I’d like them to get on with passing legislation and giving all people the same rights before the law.  Our law that is not canonical law.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
57 Responses to
Plebiscite an abrogation of responsibility
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
dungfungus 10:34 pm 23 Sep 16

creative_canberran said :

rommeldog56 said :

Medium house prices in the ACT are heaps higher than that. Last I heard, for stand alone dwellings, it was over $500K, 2nd or 3rd highest in the country.

Indeed you are correct, about $560k in fact. As I said, $300k less than Sydney, where the median is now $990k.

dungfungus said :

I haven’t paid much attention to this debate – Australia has more pressing problems…

Supporters of “equal marriage rights” should scope what the costs are to undo a marriage before they venture in that direction.

As you referring to costs of marriage and more pressing concerns in Australia, seems a good time to point out that legalising SSM would help a bit with one pressing concern Australia has, sluggish economic activity.

In fact SSM would bring in at least $500m a year! And that’s according to big banks, not some tiny progressive outfit with an agenda.

So, spend $160m on a pointless question, or get it over with and start bringing in the dollars.

Are you talking about the same banks that Shorten wants to have a Royal Commission into?

If there are SSMs there wil be SSDs (same sex divorces) and this will enrich the family law sector. They will have to put the fees they collect into banks so maybe that is what you are alluding to?

Come to think of it, the family law sector has been almost mute on this issue. Why doesn’t the MSM ask them where they stand?

creative_canberran 9:20 pm 23 Sep 16

rommeldog56 said :

Medium house prices in the ACT are heaps higher than that. Last I heard, for stand alone dwellings, it was over $500K, 2nd or 3rd highest in the country.

Indeed you are correct, about $560k in fact. As I said, $300k less than Sydney, where the median is now $990k.

dungfungus said :

I haven’t paid much attention to this debate – Australia has more pressing problems…

Supporters of “equal marriage rights” should scope what the costs are to undo a marriage before they venture in that direction.

As you referring to costs of marriage and more pressing concerns in Australia, seems a good time to point out that legalising SSM would help a bit with one pressing concern Australia has, sluggish economic activity.

In fact SSM would bring in at least $500m a year! And that’s according to big banks, not some tiny progressive outfit with an agenda.

So, spend $160m on a pointless question, or get it over with and start bringing in the dollars.

John Hargreaves 9:13 am 23 Sep 16

madelini said :

gooterz said :

madelini said :

gooterz said :

Just remove marriage from law.
From my perspective anyone who claims marriage equality should be a fundamental right should also include poly relationships as well, open relationships and marriages between related people.

None of the marriage equality arguments are unique to same sex couples.

When you say no one is being forced that’s not really the case in the US. There are numerous counter examples.

Believe it or not it will have an effect of married couples and children.

Why will it have an impact on married couples and children? Will existing marriages suddenly be annulled? Will their legally binding agreement seem less important if more people can make their own decisions? What impact will there be on children, and why will it be more severe than the current divorce rate?

I also do not understand your reference to marriages between related persons. Can you please explain the similarity between that and same sex relationships?

Family unit is the unit that raises and gives DNA to children. Children grow up being around those that share similar ability. Dad / Mum are likely to have similar interests sporting ability and illnesses. Marriage is a foundation of monogamy which gives the atomic family holding together two monogamous people together. A law which has been around for almost 4000 years. [Code of Hammurabi]

Marriage ‘equality’ is about disregarding gender as an attribute of a relationship, in the interests of a minority. On the other hand 1/3 of the worlds population live in cultures that supports polygamy. So it would be naïve to suggest that that also won’t be on the cards as soon as the same sex marriage debate has finished. With the precedent set that there nothing to stop marriage being obsolete.

The problem with the same sex marriage debate is that its really just a force to try and get acceptance of same sex couples, however flawed in that legalisation wont force public opinion. The inevitable outcome will be like the USA, where anyone found not treating SSM couples like other married couples is fined and forced to go on learning treatments.

Given the slippery slope we’re either going to unfairly target individuals or completely devalue marriage. Marriage deficient societies end up terrible, look at both the USA and UK, gun violence and the number of inmates whom come from broken homes.

There is much more too it than equality, only merely has to study the history behind marriage to find out why. As much as different religions has helped get us into society so has marriage.

As I said before we should remove marriage completely from law eventually but it needs to be done gracefully. Jumping into same sex marriage isn’t being graceful at all.

Note: I’m agnostic and don’t follow any religion.

Your point about agnosticism is noted, although the argument about marriage that I make is not anything to do with the religious point of view. Given that many, many marriages in Australia today do not take place in a religious ceremony, I think we can safely leave that argument for people who subscribe to any particular faith base.

Given that families are no longer restricted to Mum/Dad/2.5 kids, I don’t think that the DNA argument has much of a weigh in. For example, if a couple have fertility issues and use a donor sperm and egg, does that mean that they don’t count as a real family? If two people adopt children for whatever reason, are they also barred from that definition? Single parent families? Gay couples where one partner is biologically related to any offspring, but parental duties are shared? It has been a long time since anyone has been shocked by deviations from the nuclear family model.

I don’t buy the slippery slope argument. I think that there is a certain amount of rationality that we can expect the Australian public to have, and really, my concern at your comment wasn’t so much about polygamous marriages as incestual ones. I am ambivalent about polygamy, as long as if the partners are of differing genders that they have equal standing in the relationship.

I think there should be fines for treating same sex couples differently from other couples, because the act of doing so is an act of discrimination. You mention the UK and the US as marriage deficient societies, but given that Australia does not exactly have a squeaky clean reputation (see: one punch assaults, domestic violence epidemic, the ice scourge, gun violence including murders in Canberra over the years, etc) and a divorce rate of one in three, I wonder that we are not already included in your examples. But then, isn’t a marriage deficient society what you were arguing for? I am sorry if I misunderstood.

Marriage has always evolved. In some ancient societies, the couple being married would not be able to consent, and later, the woman was a part of the property and came along with her dowry. It is only relatively recently that it has been romanticised in the Western world. Marriage equality is the next step in the evolutionary process of marriage. If you don’t like it, then you are under no obligation to ever get married – unlike in history, it is now an act that you must consent to. Your dislike of marriage as an institution should have no weighing on allowing people to have equal and legal rights.

This is the most cogent and compelling argument I have seen. Bravo

dungfungus 9:08 am 23 Sep 16

I haven’t paid much attention to this debate – Australia has more pressing problems than changing the marriage act to include a few percent of the population who somehow feel marginalised because they can’t frame their “marriage certificate”.

I have two marriage certificates – one is now filed along with a decree nisi.

Supporters of “equal marriage rights” should scope what the costs are to undo a marriage before they venture in that direction.

Nevertheless, it was part of the coalition’s election platform to hold a plebiscite about it and I really don’t care what the outcome is. I am unaware what the Labor/Green stance was but they didn’t win the election anyhow.

Having said that I believe the outcome will be a resounding “NO”.

rommeldog56 7:15 am 23 Sep 16

creative_canberran said :

Median house price in Canberra is $300k lower than in Sydney.

Look this is getting off topic but making the SSM case an issue of money is daft.

Medium house prices in the ACT are heaps higher than that. Last I heard, for stand alone dwellings, it was over $500K, 2nd or 3rd highest in the country.

Agreed, this is getting too far off topic. My last word is that if u and 1 or 2 others on here can find flimsy reasons to justify the waste of m$800+ by the ACT Labor/Greens Govt on the doomed ACTs same sex marriage legislation, then is it any wonder infrastructure projects such as the tram, has got support. Supporting the waste of that m$88+ is in itself, daft. Its no wonder we have such a poor performing ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t – we deserve that.

Lurker2913 3:57 am 23 Sep 16

This topic has everyone fired up. I have not seen so many responses and long reads too.

The plebiscite is going to bring a new meaning to the democracy sausage on polling day. Circumcised frankfurt sir? [juvenile giggle]. Hope some of the proceeds go to LGBITQA+ causes.

creative_canberran 11:25 pm 22 Sep 16

rommeldog56 said :

When u can no longer afford to live in the ACT due to ACT Labor/Greens Annual Rates increases of 10% avg.pa forever levies, $ wasted by ACT Labor/Greens on such things as the Tram and same sex marriage laws, etc, Im sure when u too have to move across the border, you are going to meet heaps of other ex Canberrians in the street.

lol, Sydney is one of the five least affordable cities in the world, housing costing over 12x the annual wage. Median house price in Canberra is $300k lower than in Sydney.

Sydney has an LNP government. The same party whose members take private jets and choppers.

So I don’t think wasteful spending is a partisan thing, and I don’t think the cost of living here comparers unfavourably to elsewhere.

If you want to move to NSW, be my guest. But if you’re living anywhere in surrounding regional NSW, you’ll find yourself back in Canberra if you need more intensive care in hospital (30% of emergency surgeries and over 30% of electives in Canberra hospital are for NSW residents), our fire brigade will also attend your house or business fire, and you might even come to Canberra for school and university.

Look this is getting off topic but making the SSM case an issue of money is daft. For everything one taxpayer things is a good use of money, another will think it’s a waste. Government’s have to see the big picture and trying to establish a constitutional precedent sure fits the bill.

rommeldog56 8:07 pm 22 Sep 16

madelini said :

It’s not ratepayers money. It’s government money. You don’t like the way it’s spent, then feel free to move over the border and feel free to know that your monies are going towards the Opal card rollout.

I would rather the local government spend that money and ensure that the argument stays in the public consciousness, and I commend them for what they did.

I can not believe the naivety and rusted on left view of some/many people here. Agreed that it is not ALL Ratepayers $, but most of it comes out of the back pockets of ACT residents/Ratepayers in some way, shape or form. The sad thing is that they vote too.

When u can no longer afford to live in the ACT due to ACT Labor/Greens Annual Rates increases of 10% avg.pa forever levies, $ wasted by ACT Labor/Greens on such things as the Tram and same sex marriage laws, etc, Im sure when u too have to move across the border, you are going to meet heaps of other ex Canberrians in the street.

chewy14 3:57 pm 22 Sep 16

madelini said :

rommeldog56 said :

creative_canberran said :

And it was hardly an empty victory. Had the case succeeded, it would still only have granted SSM for the ACT because of the unique set of circumstances under the Constitution and territory law. But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less.

As for the money, well a High Court case is never cheap. But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.

” But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less. “

So, the predictable and forewarned defeat of the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t same sex marriage laws was seen as “a positive outcome” ?

Nice spin. No, its not even spin. Its just propaganda.

” But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.”

No one claimed that it “broke the bank. Rather that is was a scandalous waste of Ratepayers $ – there is an opportunity cost.

Is there any other way you can minimise the impact on the budget ? maybe divide the 0.000000001% between each Ratepayer/resident to get it down lower ??

At the end of the day, it was $800,000.00 +, totally wasted – unless u are a lawyer of course.

It’s not ratepayers money. It’s government money. You don’t like the way it’s spent, then feel free to move over the border and feel free to know that your monies are going towards the Opal card rollout.

I would rather the local government spend that money and ensure that the argument stays in the public consciousness, and I commend them for what they did. Clearly it wasn’t in vain – South Australia today introduced a bill to do the same.

No they didn’t.

South Australia has brought in a relationships register to cover some of the legal issues mentioned on this thread. This type of solution is actually the end point of this argument, where “marriage” as a quasi civil, social and religious insituition gets removed entirely from federal law and is replaced by civil unions. Good to see you support it.

madelini 3:17 pm 22 Sep 16

rommeldog56 said :

creative_canberran said :

And it was hardly an empty victory. Had the case succeeded, it would still only have granted SSM for the ACT because of the unique set of circumstances under the Constitution and territory law. But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less.

As for the money, well a High Court case is never cheap. But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.

” But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less. “

So, the predictable and forewarned defeat of the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t same sex marriage laws was seen as “a positive outcome” ?

Nice spin. No, its not even spin. Its just propaganda.

” But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.”

No one claimed that it “broke the bank. Rather that is was a scandalous waste of Ratepayers $ – there is an opportunity cost.

Is there any other way you can minimise the impact on the budget ? maybe divide the 0.000000001% between each Ratepayer/resident to get it down lower ??

At the end of the day, it was $800,000.00 +, totally wasted – unless u are a lawyer of course.

It’s not ratepayers money. It’s government money. You don’t like the way it’s spent, then feel free to move over the border and feel free to know that your monies are going towards the Opal card rollout.

I would rather the local government spend that money and ensure that the argument stays in the public consciousness, and I commend them for what they did. Clearly it wasn’t in vain – South Australia today introduced a bill to do the same.

madelini 3:12 pm 22 Sep 16

No_Nose said :

Well the whole concept of marriage is now officially over anyway. I mean, if Brad and Angelina can’t make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us.

Vale Brangelina, you will be missed.

madelini 3:03 pm 22 Sep 16

gooterz said :

madelini said :

gooterz said :

Just remove marriage from law.
From my perspective anyone who claims marriage equality should be a fundamental right should also include poly relationships as well, open relationships and marriages between related people.

None of the marriage equality arguments are unique to same sex couples.

When you say no one is being forced that’s not really the case in the US. There are numerous counter examples.

Believe it or not it will have an effect of married couples and children.

Why will it have an impact on married couples and children? Will existing marriages suddenly be annulled? Will their legally binding agreement seem less important if more people can make their own decisions? What impact will there be on children, and why will it be more severe than the current divorce rate?

I also do not understand your reference to marriages between related persons. Can you please explain the similarity between that and same sex relationships?

Family unit is the unit that raises and gives DNA to children. Children grow up being around those that share similar ability. Dad / Mum are likely to have similar interests sporting ability and illnesses. Marriage is a foundation of monogamy which gives the atomic family holding together two monogamous people together. A law which has been around for almost 4000 years. [Code of Hammurabi]

Marriage ‘equality’ is about disregarding gender as an attribute of a relationship, in the interests of a minority. On the other hand 1/3 of the worlds population live in cultures that supports polygamy. So it would be naïve to suggest that that also won’t be on the cards as soon as the same sex marriage debate has finished. With the precedent set that there nothing to stop marriage being obsolete.

The problem with the same sex marriage debate is that its really just a force to try and get acceptance of same sex couples, however flawed in that legalisation wont force public opinion. The inevitable outcome will be like the USA, where anyone found not treating SSM couples like other married couples is fined and forced to go on learning treatments.

Given the slippery slope we’re either going to unfairly target individuals or completely devalue marriage. Marriage deficient societies end up terrible, look at both the USA and UK, gun violence and the number of inmates whom come from broken homes.

There is much more too it than equality, only merely has to study the history behind marriage to find out why. As much as different religions has helped get us into society so has marriage.

As I said before we should remove marriage completely from law eventually but it needs to be done gracefully. Jumping into same sex marriage isn’t being graceful at all.

Note: I’m agnostic and don’t follow any religion.

Your point about agnosticism is noted, although the argument about marriage that I make is not anything to do with the religious point of view. Given that many, many marriages in Australia today do not take place in a religious ceremony, I think we can safely leave that argument for people who subscribe to any particular faith base.

Given that families are no longer restricted to Mum/Dad/2.5 kids, I don’t think that the DNA argument has much of a weigh in. For example, if a couple have fertility issues and use a donor sperm and egg, does that mean that they don’t count as a real family? If two people adopt children for whatever reason, are they also barred from that definition? Single parent families? Gay couples where one partner is biologically related to any offspring, but parental duties are shared? It has been a long time since anyone has been shocked by deviations from the nuclear family model.

I don’t buy the slippery slope argument. I think that there is a certain amount of rationality that we can expect the Australian public to have, and really, my concern at your comment wasn’t so much about polygamous marriages as incestual ones. I am ambivalent about polygamy, as long as if the partners are of differing genders that they have equal standing in the relationship.

I think there should be fines for treating same sex couples differently from other couples, because the act of doing so is an act of discrimination. You mention the UK and the US as marriage deficient societies, but given that Australia does not exactly have a squeaky clean reputation (see: one punch assaults, domestic violence epidemic, the ice scourge, gun violence including murders in Canberra over the years, etc) and a divorce rate of one in three, I wonder that we are not already included in your examples. But then, isn’t a marriage deficient society what you were arguing for? I am sorry if I misunderstood.

Marriage has always evolved. In some ancient societies, the couple being married would not be able to consent, and later, the woman was a part of the property and came along with her dowry. It is only relatively recently that it has been romanticised in the Western world. Marriage equality is the next step in the evolutionary process of marriage. If you don’t like it, then you are under no obligation to ever get married – unlike in history, it is now an act that you must consent to. Your dislike of marriage as an institution should have no weighing on allowing people to have equal and legal rights.

rommeldog56 7:23 am 22 Sep 16

creative_canberran said :

And it was hardly an empty victory. Had the case succeeded, it would still only have granted SSM for the ACT because of the unique set of circumstances under the Constitution and territory law. But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less.

As for the money, well a High Court case is never cheap. But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.

” But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less. ” So, the predictable and forewarned defeat of the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t same sex marriage laws was seen as “a positive outcome” ? Nice spin. No, its not even spin. Its just propaganda.

” But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.” No one claimed that it “broke the bank. Rather that is was a scandalous waste of Ratepayers $ – there is an opportunity cost. Is there any other way you can minimise the impact on the budget ? maybe divide the 0.000000001% between each Ratepayer/resident to get it down lower ?? At the end of the day, it was $800,000.00 +, totally wasted – unless u are a lawyer of course.

No_Nose 7:18 am 22 Sep 16

Well the whole concept of marriage is now officially over anyway. I mean, if Brad and Angelina can’t make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us.

creative_canberran 3:57 pm 21 Sep 16

Mysteryman said :

No, it’s not. It’s really quite simple; if the states make a law that contradicts one made by the commonwealth on an issue outlined in S.51 as being one of the powers of the commonwealth, the state’s law will be overridden.

No it’s really not that simple. You would need to ignore s 109 and the vast body of High Court interpretation since to make it that simple.

BUT

You would also need to ignore that the ACT has unique inconsistency provision to the states by virtue of s 28 of our Self Government Act. That provision had never before been tested and is a vital question of to what extent the ACT can legislate for itself.

That’s also why no other states joined, aside from some obvious political reasons too.

Mysteryman said :

It was not a clever argument. At all. It was doomed to begin with, because anyone reading the Marriage Act could see it left no room for any other interpretation of marriage. The High Court’s judgement confirmed what everyone already knew (including the other states who were obviously smart enough not to wasting their time and money). Every legal expert worth their salt knew it was a pointless exercise. It wasn’t a “clever” argument, it was a cheap attempt to score political points. And it cost us nearly $1m in the process.

You know I bet someone said the exact same thing when Mabo reached the High Court. Expensive, doomed to failure, will never work.

And it was hardly an empty victory. Had the case succeeded, it would still only have granted SSM for the ACT because of the unique set of circumstances under the Constitution and territory law. But because the High Court ruled the way it did, it was seen as a positive outcome none the less.

As for the money, well a High Court case is never cheap. But at 0.000000001% of the ACT’s 2012-13 Budget, it hardly broke the bank.

Mysteryman 10:19 am 21 Sep 16

creative_canberran said :

Nilrem said :

Hang on. The ACT legislation was overturned because the Commonwealth retained the right to overturn it in the ACT’s self government legislation. It had nothing to do with the ACT legislation breaching the Constitution.

The Commonwealth does have a unique right in the ACT to directly override legislation. However the High Court’s decision rested on s 51 and whether concurrent power existed under the Constitution. Please refer to the published decision of the court, available for free via Austlii.

.

Mysteryman said :

They absolutely knew it was in contravention. Why do you think other states Section 51 is very clear that marriage legislation is the dominion of the commonwealth, not the states. Any state/territory legislation that conflicts with the federal legislation will be struck down. It was obvious that the ACT law would fail the moment it was introduced.

No, that’s totally misreading the nuance of concurrent powers. It’s not so simple as if the Commonwealth legislates in an area, the states lose power. The scope of the power has to be particularised.

No, it’s not. It’s really quite simple; if the states make a law that contradicts one made by the commonwealth on an issue outlined in S.51 as being one of the powers of the commonwealth, the state’s law will be overridden. That’s what happened, and that’s exactly what everyone knew would happen, because because there was no grey-area in the Marriage Act, or the Commonwealth’s power to legislate it. The Marriage Act is clear that the definition of marriage leaves no room for interpretations other than man+woman. Read it. The Territory attempted to create a different definition and it was struck down for being in conflict with the federal Marriage Act.

creative_canberran said :

The ACT contended that because the Commonwealth had legislated for hetero-sexual marriage in 2004, that it left space under s 51 for states/territories to legislate for other forms of marriage, thus particularising the extent of commonwealth power as relating to heterosexual marriage only. It was an interesting argument, even clever, but not a strong one.

It was not a clever argument. At all. It was doomed to begin with, because anyone reading the Marriage Act could see it left no room for any other interpretation of marriage. The High Court’s judgement confirmed what everyone already knew (including the other states who were obviously smart enough not to wasting their time and money). Every legal expert worth their salt knew it was a pointless exercise. It wasn’t a “clever” argument, it was a cheap attempt to score political points. And it cost us nearly $1m in the process.

creative_canberran 11:58 pm 20 Sep 16

Nilrem said :

Hang on. The ACT legislation was overturned because the Commonwealth retained the right to overturn it in the ACT’s self government legislation. It had nothing to do with the ACT legislation breaching the Constitution.

The Commonwealth does have a unique right in the ACT to directly override legislation. However the High Court’s decision rested on s 51 and whether concurrent power existed under the Constitution. Please refer to the published decision of the court, available for free via Austlii.

.

Mysteryman said :

They absolutely knew it was in contravention. Why do you think other states Section 51 is very clear that marriage legislation is the dominion of the commonwealth, not the states. Any state/territory legislation that conflicts with the federal legislation will be struck down. It was obvious that the ACT law would fail the moment it was introduced.

No, that’s totally misreading the nuance of concurrent powers. It’s not so simple as if the Commonwealth legislates in an area, the states lose power. The scope of the power has to be particularised.

The ACT contended that because the Commonwealth had legislated for hetero-sexual marriage in 2004, that it left space under s 51 for states/territories to legislate for other forms of marriage, thus particularising the extent of commonwealth power as relating to heterosexual marriage only. It was an interesting argument, even clever, but not a strong one.

As I said in a previous post, marriage and law are linked because of the essential effect marriage has on things like estate law, tax law and family law obviously. And the Commonwealth among its arguments in the High Court case pointed out the ridiculous and unworkable effect having different conceptions of marriage at state and Commonwealth levels would have in practice for laws that rely on marriage in those areas.

The High Court ultimately decided that the Commonwealth had legislated to an extent that all marriage was within the scope of the power, because the law was just as much about defining heterosexual marriage as it was about ensuring a uniform national conception of marriage. And that national conception of marriage can exclude or include homosexual marriage at the Parliament’s will.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site