3 responses

  1. Dan
    December 11, 2013

    It turns out that US-style federalism has its advantages. Oh well, maybe it will turn out that the straights-only marriage law is unconstitutional. It is, if the Australian constitution is worth its salt.

  2. Stefano A
    December 11, 2013

    While it’s a blow for state’s being able to legislate for same-sex marriage, the upside is that the decision clears the way for a federal law, if the federal Parliament ever gets around to passing one of the bills introduced.

    One of the High Court’s critical points was that the word “marriage” in the Constitution means “the union of any two natural people” and not restricted to unions between a man and a woman. Prior to the court’s decision that was never clarified before.

    So, when/if the federal parliament does legislate for marriage equality, religious groups won’t be able to challenge any federal same-sex marriage law on the grounds that the Constitution defines marriage as one man and one man. It does not.

    And I’d be sceptical of the federal parliament amending the constitution to out-right ban same-sex marriage. They could try, but I don’t think it’d pass as I believe there’d be too much blowback.

  3. Stefano A
    December 12, 2013

    OOops!

    This obviously should have read:

    So, when/if the federal parliament does legislate for marriage equality, religious groups won’t be able to challenge any federal same-sex marriage law on the grounds that the Constitution defines marriage as one man and one man woman. It does not.

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