Today the Australian High Court heard arguments as to whether or not the Australian Capital Territory (a political subdivision similar to the District of Columbia) could offer ‘same-sex marriage’.
In a nut-shell the arguments went a bit like this: the Commonwealth (Federal government) argued that it had sole right to define and codify rules relating to marriage and that marriage was defined as between a man and a woman. The ACT countered that since the Commonwealth had defined marriage to be between a man and a woman, this new legal contract which they had created called ‘same-sex marriage’ didn’t fit the definition of marriage, was not marriage but something else entirely, and therefore did not fall under the Commonwealth’s control.
It’s a rather fun Catch 22. If they are real marriages, then what business has the Commonwealth in engaging in bigoted discrimination. And if they are not real marriages, then bugger off and leave the ACT alone.(ABC)
The court says it will hand down its decision next Thursday, and in the meantime will allow same-sex marriages to take place in Canberra.
‘Same-sex marriages’ (not to be confused with marriages between the same sex) can begin on Saturday. The court may rule against ACT, and despite the brilliance of the argument, I think it’s likely. However, there is hope that their legal ploy will work and even greater hope that those marriages which are conducted in the interim will retain their legality.
And if the court allows the distinction to go ACT’s way, I wonder whether an opposite sex couple could become ‘same-sex married’.