Australian High Court: Same-sex marriage unconstitutional

CANBERRA, Dec. 12 (PNA/Xinhua) — The Australian High Court has ruled on Thursday that the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)’s same-sex marriage laws were inconsistent with the Federal Marriage Act, and were therefore unconstitutional.

ACT enacted its same-sex marriage legislation in November. But according to the High Court, the ACT’s Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 could not operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act 1961.

In its decision, the High Court held that the federal parliament had power under the Australian Constitution to legislate for same-sex marriage.

According to local media, ACT had argued that its laws could sit beside the federal legislation because it had defined a different type of marriage between same-sex couples.

“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 court said in a summary of its judgment.

“The Marriage Act does not now provide for the formation or recognition of marriage between same-sex couples,” it added.

According to this judgment, the High Court “held that the whole of the ACT Act is of no effect.”

“Because the ACT Act does not validly provide for the formation of same-sex marriages, its provisions about the rights of parties to such marriages and the dissolution of such marriages cannot have separate operation and are also of no effect,” the High Court said. (PNA/Xinhua)