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

By johnboy - 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]

What’s Your opinion?


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150 Responses to
Simon’s screwed the pooch. High Court throws out Marriage Equality
magiccar9 1:26 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.

johnboy 1:25 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.

PantsMan 1:12 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.

caf 1:11 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.

DUB 1:09 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.

DUB 1:08 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!

mossrocket 1:02 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…

JimiBostock 12:57 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

PantsMan 12:55 pm 12 Dec 13

Is Barr quoting Trotsky?

JessP 12:51 pm 12 Dec 13

Barcham said :

and came oh so close to succeeding.

6-0 is close? Really?

CrocodileGandhi 12:49 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.

Barcham 12:42 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.

PantsMan 12:40 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.

chewy14 12:35 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.

housebound 12:29 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?

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