Saturday, December 14, 2013

Australia's Highest Court Invalidates Capital Territory's Marriage Equality Law

In Commonwealth of Australia v. Australian Capital Territory, (Australia High Ct., Dec. 12, 2013), Australia's highest court invalidated the Australian Capital Territory's Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 as inconsistent with federal law.  As summarized by the High Court's press release:
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.
The decision comes only 5 days after the Australian Capital Territory's new law took effect. Some 27 same-sex couples got married during that period. According to CNN, those marriages will be annulled.