Tuesday, 3 December 2013

High Court challenge to ACT gay marriage laws on today

The High Court will, within the hour, commence to hear the challenge by the Commonwealth to the ACT's equal marriage laws. The case will be heard today and tomorrow.

If the challenge is successful, then the High Court may issue orders to take effect before Saturday to prevent the first weddings under the new laws taking place then.

It is possible that if the challenge is successful, but no result is known for some time, that those who have married under these laws may then find their marriages in effect invalid.

The other possibility of course is that the High Court will uphold the validity of the ACT laws. The reality is that we don't know what approach the High Court will take, and experts have been divided about which approach is more likely- as I have blogged before.

If the High Court upholds the validity of the laws, it is highly likely that similar laws will then be passed in NSW, Tasmania, South Australia and possibly Western Australia. If the laws are not upheld, then it is certain that those States will not legislate, because their laws would be the subject of substantially the same challenge.

Fingers crossed.

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