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Australia's High Court Nullifies First Gay Marriages, Strikes Down ACT Law: VIDEO

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The Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) same-sex marriage law was struck down by the country's highest court on Thursday and the marriages that had taken place since it went into effect were annulled, the AP reports:

ActThe federal government's lawyer had argued that having different marriage laws in various Australian states and territories would create confusion. The ACT, which passed the law in October, said it should stand because it governs couples outside the federal definition of marriage as being between members of the opposite sex.

The High Court unanimously ruled that the ACT's law could not operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act, which was amended in 2004 to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

"The Marriage Act does not now provide for the formation or recognition of marriage between same sex couples. The Marriage Act provides that a marriage can be solemnised in Australia only between a man and a woman," the court said in a statement issued alongside its ruling. "That Act is a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law of marriage."

Approximately 30 same-sex couples have married since Saturday.

In its decision, the court wrote that the federal government is responsible for deciding whether same-sex marriage should be legalized. The ruling means that no Australian state or territory can make that decision, said Sydney University constitutional lawyer Anne Twomey.

The Canberra Times reports:

ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said that Prime Minister Tony Abbott should now allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriages 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," Mr Corbell said...

...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.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the only way to guarantee marriage equality across Australia was to pass reform at a federal level.

Watch a Channel 4 report on the ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. The Court also said that the word 'Marriage' in the Constitution includes same-sex marriage. Now there's a problem: is it unconstitutional prohibiting marriage to same-sex couples? If the federal Parliament won't legislate a trial can answer that question.

    Posted by: Andrea | Dec 12, 2013 7:27:53 AM


  2. Australia is a bunch of disgusting savages and a giant dump of a country. We need to boycott everything Australian to teach those pigs a thing or two.

    Oh wait, I forgot it's a white country, never mind.

    Posted by: MaryM | Dec 12, 2013 7:37:12 AM


  3. Australia is homophobic.

    Posted by: ASam | Dec 12, 2013 7:38:21 AM


  4. What a mess.

    Posted by: arch | Dec 12, 2013 7:48:55 AM


  5. OK, High Court, you say marriage equality is an issue for parliament, not the judiciary.
    But the Australian parliament is dysfunctional. Labor members may vote for or against marriage equality, but Liberal (ironically, this is the republican party in australia) members "must" vote against it as that's the party's and its leader Tony Abbott's position.
    If all members were allowed to vote as they wish marriage equality would be legal in Australia.
    These are exactly the sorts of situations where a judiciary must step in to protect the rights of individual Australians who are being denied equal treatment.

    Posted by: woody | Dec 12, 2013 8:51:53 AM


  6. um before you rush to call australia a horrible backward bigoted country (which it is) you have to remember that USA isn't fully equal either.......you don't have gay marriage in America yet.....its 2013..nearly 14 and still not even half the states in America have gay marriage.

    Posted by: Dave. | Dec 12, 2013 8:53:17 AM


  7. I never liked Aussie bum underwear anyway so that boycott isn't going to be hard.

    Posted by: Dave. | Dec 12, 2013 8:53:51 AM


  8. and Kylie Minogue is basically English now anyway so i don't have to stop listening to her do i ?

    Posted by: Dave. | Dec 12, 2013 8:54:19 AM


  9. Remember when T-Road readers were intelligent? WTF happened?

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Dec 12, 2013 9:12:14 AM


  10. @pete LOL.

    Posted by: Tristram | Dec 12, 2013 9:19:59 AM


  11. ... and I thought Kylie was Welsh. Guess it'
    s just her ancestry. They definitely claim her.

    Posted by: woody | Dec 12, 2013 9:26:02 AM


  12. Throw out your Midnight Oil records! Pour Fosters into the gutter! NO MORE VEGEMITE!

    Posted by: crispy | Dec 12, 2013 9:40:48 AM


  13. Politically, ACT provided political cover for parliament to avoid gay marriage. Now they'll be forced to vote one way or the other.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 12, 2013 10:37:51 AM


  14. Australia is still the land of criminals and terrorists like it was intended to be.

    Posted by: litper | Dec 12, 2013 10:37:57 AM


  15. Wow, Rick the troll brought out three of his aliases (MaryM, Asam and Litper) out to play in this comment thread. Somebody's desperate for attention today. It's been well established that these three are known aliases of our resident troll. Don't you wish he's just go away and take all of his other "people" with him?

    Posted by: Tyler | Dec 12, 2013 11:20:48 AM


  16. The str8s give, and the str8s take away.

    Posted by: Time | Dec 12, 2013 2:22:24 PM


  17. Being gay, I agree Oz needs to pass this legislation through Federal Parliament very quickly. Remember too that all America has yet to make same sex marriage a Federal law- it's still moving state by state.
    As for Australia being white- well happily we ceased to be white a long time ago. We are just as multi-cultural as America.
    Like other countries we have religious bigots and homophobes but the majority don't think that way, anymore than the majority of Americans are rednecks. To make that assumption would also be both inaccurate and unfair.
    As an Australian I think I know something about my own country.

    Posted by: Rob Wilson | Dec 12, 2013 4:47:02 PM


  18. Ok so I dont know everything about this because im not a fan on news stuff nor am I lgbt BUT im disgusted in the fact that people were married and now can even say they are. Ive started a facebook page to change this thing. Just move to act and already wanna walk upto that high court and paint it rainbow.
    as for Australia being white HAHA u can walk anywere without seeing Muslims or Asians or every other race. There is probably more of them than us whites but who cares we r all Australian and thats the only thing that matters.

    http://m.facebook.com/groups/1404679863104210?ref=bookmark&__user=100003462904609

    Posted by: Jasmine | Dec 12, 2013 5:30:36 PM


  19. Jasmine, you are perfectly correct to be disgusted by the fact that people were married and then had it taken away. I agree with that entirely. As I said previously this needs to " pass through Federal Parliament very quickly" to fix this terrible situation.
    As for comment "u can walk anywere without seeing Muslims or Asians or every other race"- I can only conclude we move in different areas because I see people from many races all the time and that makes Australia a very multicultural country.
    There are a number of mono-cultural countries not far from Australia and they don't welcome other races or creeds.
    As for first comment "Ok so I dont know everything about this because im not a fan on news stuff nor am I lgbt"- well you're one up on me as I don't know everything. Unlike you I am still learning and evolving my opinions.
    As for painting the High Court "rainbow"- they are interpreting the law as devised by the Parliament. In other words it's the Parliament that must change an unjust law.

    Posted by: Rob Wilson | Dec 12, 2013 6:16:40 PM


  20. Stop hating on Australia. Midnight Oil? Are you serious? One of the most liberal guys and so outspoken has been asked to run for office. Aussie Bum? Not pro-gay? C'mon.

    A friend of mine went to Australia for Mardi Gras and was shocked at how accepting and friendly the STRAIGHT guys were. They go to the gay bars, they hang out, and yes, they're really straight - he met plenty of them in non-gay bars. He also told me Aussies love American accents - and that certainly worked to his advantage. The people of Australia obviously have a different opinion about marriage, but give me a break.

    And the same thing has happened already here, in CA. Remember? Two of my friends were among those first married in CA, then had that marriage negated, then the negation was reversed.

    It's going to take a little time. Keep the outrage coming, that will help. But sheesh. Have some patience. I have no doubt the right thing will happen.

    Posted by: trg | Dec 13, 2013 8:50:59 PM


  21. What's really great about this is that it shakes the trees. What kind of society does Australia want? Canada, New Zealand, UK, France have done so.

    Posted by: Thomas | Dec 14, 2013 12:48:20 AM


  22. Australia is a wonderful country. This is just one of the growing pains they are experiencing in their efforts to make Australia a better nation. One that affords equality for all their people.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 14, 2013 2:22:06 PM


  23. RE: Andrew

    And as another poster stated, Americans are hardly in a place to get on a high horse on the subject.

    Posted by: Ian | Dec 15, 2013 12:44:06 PM


  24. What a shame, the world is waiting for the thinking people of Australia to pull ahead of the vile buffoons.

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 17, 2013 7:04:57 AM


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