HRC Blog

Australian High Court to Hear Challenge to ACT’s Marriage Equality Law

AustraliaThis afternoon, the Australian High Court this afternoon will hear challenges to the validity of the Australia Capital Territory's (ACT) marriage equality law. The federal government alleges that the same-sex marriage law passed in the ACT on Tuesday is in violation of the Commonwealth Marriage Act and the Family Law Act.

The Commonwealth wants the decision by the Court to be expedited before the first marriages predicted to happen in December begin.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned anyone planning to marry under the new laws to wait for the High Court to rule whether the legislation is valid. The Prime Minister has consistently been opposed to same-sex marriage in Australia.

The ACT government has created separate forms of marriage for same-sex couples, capable of operating in parallel with the federal laws. The Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has indicated that such provisions will direct any further changes to the legislation to strengthen it, after a meeting with constitutional lawyers and marriage equality groups next week.


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