The High Court has today handed down its decision in respect of the ACT’s legislation permitting same-sex marriage. As expected, the ACT legislation was overturned.
The High Court found that the ACT law provided for marriage equality for same sex couples. As such, the legislation could not operate alongside federal laws as only the federal parliament had the power under the Constitution to legislate on marriage. The ACT had argued that their legislation provided for a form of legally recognised relationship which was different from marriage. The High Court did not agree.
Whether or not you are in favour for or against marriage equality, the High Court really had no choice but to interpret the legislation as it currently stands. It is now for the Federal Parliament to change the federal legislation permitting marriage equality.
Given our current Prime Minister’s stance on the matter, however, this writer has serious doubts that any significant progress will be made during his term in office. Hopefully, the people of Australia will push their politicians to remove one of the last bastions of human rights abuses. Seriously, how can a civilised country such as Australia discriminate against their citizens based on their sexuality? Love is love. In the week after the world lost Nelson Mandela, surely we can take a moment to reflect on the basics of humanity.
Having lived and worked in the UK, I appreciated that country’s culture of commitment. As David Cameron said, “it’s because I am conservative that I support same sex marriage”. Hopefully, one day, we’ll have a prime minister who says the same.