Fingers crossed

Just after midnight on Friday night, the first ever legally recognised same sex marriages took place on Australian soil. The Australian Capital Territory, a tiny little slice of Australia created because no one could decide if Sydney or Melbourne should be the capital of the country, passed a same sex marriage bill and this weekend it went into effect. The only problem is that the Federal Government has challenged it in the High Court. What other developed country, otherwise known for being progressive, has done this kind of backward thinking, nasty, hate filled kind of thing? None.

The High Court heard arguments on both sides last week but has decided to stay its ruling until this Thursday which means that the 20 or so same sex weddings being held this weekend could be all over and annulled less than a week after they were celebrated. That’s way less than your average religiously approved Kardashian wedding. The problem with the A.C.T’s legislation is that it is specifically for Same Sex marriages so it is a kind of same-but-equal marriage but it’s a foot in the door. What has proved very encouraging is the public and media reaction to Tony Abbott’s government challenging it. My impression is that it’s being seen as a nasty and unnecessary waste of time.

The question I’m yet to see an answer to is around the validity or recognition of these marriages federally. Our system doesn’t recognise same sex marriages performed out of Australia but I don’t know if they are recognised because they are performed on Austalian soil. Who knows?

5 Responses to “Fingers crossed”


  1. 1 Passing thru...

    Politically speaking, 2012/2013 was an incredibly stupid time for a hard push on marriage equality in this country. People took for granted that we were about to get one of the most right-wing and reactionary governments this country has ever seen, but decided to heap scorn on the previous administration for not giving them everything they wanted right then and there rather than working with them.

    In the event that this gets overturned (and it may well do, and it wouldn’t be unprecedented) my sympathies will lie with those who have their unions declared invalid – and I will blame the lobby groups.

  2. 2 Jeffrey

    Lots of battles, some won and some lost, but the war is being won. Last Monday we in Hawaii rejoiced as the first legal same sex marriages were performed at midnight. That’s, I think, 16 states in the US with same sex marriage. And President Obama put out a directive some months ago that the federal government shall recognize all same sex marriages from whatever state or country they come. It’s a snowball gathering momentum as it rolls down hill. It will come to Australia soon, I’m sure. Hang in there.

  3. 3 Dave

    I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of one of these beautiful couples yesterday. They decided to tie the knot, no matter how brief it may be this time. See more about them in the following:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-06/countdown-to-the-acts-first-same-sex-marriages/5141822?section=act

    They, like most you see interviewed, are aware of the possible worse case outcome, but see this as being at least one step closer.

  4. 4 Billy

    The US fed gvt choose not to defend the CA prop 8 fight; so to blame the lobbyist and not those that are actually in the court room baffles me.

    Waiting for good time to demand equality, is like wait till you are ready to have a child, the date never comes, so now is the as good of time as any.

  5. 5 Colin

    Let’s hope the pseudo religious zealots don’t ruin the UK’s March ’14 date for marriage in full. Let them remember the ceremony of marriage was around way before religion hijacked it as “one of their institutions”.

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