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Same-Sex Marriage Ruled Out In Australia

Posted on the 12 December 2013 by Thepoliticalidealist @JackDarrant

Same-Sex Marriage Ruled Out In Australia

Posted: 12/12/2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Australia, Australian Capital Territory, equal marriage, equality, fairness, justice, Liberal Party, news, Politics, same sex marriage, society, Tolerance, Tony Abbott |2 Comments »

Tony ‘Black Monk’ Abbott must be delighted with the success of his Liberal/National Government’s legal challenge to the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) introduction of Same-Sex Marriage. Following a unanimous ruling by Australia’s High Court, the 30-odd couples in ACT, who have married under its enlightened new legislation, have had their marriages declared “void”.

It is perhaps unprecedented: a whole cluster of marriages revoked just days after they took place due to a legal argument. It must be deeply upsetting to be one of those newlyweds, finding out from a news bulletin that one’s vows have been arbitrarily declared invalid.

The dreadful social conservatism embraced by the leadership of Australia’s ‘Liberal’ party is well-known. It its not surprising that the Federal Government it now controls has used whatever tools at its disposal to torpedo progress. In this case, it pointed out that ACT’s law contradicted a 2004 item of federal legislation which asserts that marriage is a heterosexual institution. For those of you unfamiliar with Australia’s constitution, the nation has a federal structure similar to that of the United States, a feature of which is that federal law takes precedence over state or territory law. So, in essence, the High Court has ruled that marriage falls under the jurisdiction of the federal parliament.

There is no prospect of the Liberal/National majority passing marriage equality legislation- unless they replicate the UK, with the centrist wing of the Government passing the law with the support of a centre-left Opposition. That doesn’t look likely, though. Instead the campaign for marriage equality will have to rumble on, aware that Australia lags behind most of the English speaking world in this area.

If Britain is socially regressive by European standards, there is only one country other than the United States that struggles so much with its cultural contradiction between tolerant values and reactionary instincts, and that’s the Commonwealth of Australia. But, as ever, it’s down to the silent majority to demand better.

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