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NSW Committee may have cleared the state for marriage

Timothy Kincaid

July 26th, 2013

Australia has long been restricted from achieving marriage equality by the understanding that marriage was the within the purview of the federal government. And a circus of politics, positions, postures, and pretences have conspired to keep the nation from enacting a policy that has popular support.

But now the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues in New South Wales, Australia, has determined that the state can pass its own marriage laws – though no one is certain that their determination will hold. (GayNewsNetwork)

The Committee found that while NSW can legislate on same-sex marriage, any laws would be subject to challenge by the High Court and thus marriage equality would be best pursued in Commonwealth legislation.

The Hon Niall Blair, MLC, Chair of the Social Issues Committee said: “This report seeks to clarify the law, including in particular the question as to whether New South Wales can legislate on the topic of same-sex marriage; there is no doubt that it can. But whether the law would stand up to a challenge in the High Court is unpredictable and something that even leading experts in constitutional law disagree about.”

However, there may be sufficient political will to pass the legislation and call the federal government’s bluff. Leaders of all the political parties have expressed support for the position.

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