ACT marriage equality law set to face High Court challenge
Reports in the Weekend Australian suggest Attorney General George Brandis has been advised the recent ACT 2013 Marriage Bill in support of marriage equality is invalid as it is inconsistent with the commonwealth Marriage Act.
The advice was given by the commonwealth Solicitor General. It is understood PM Tony Abbott is now likely to present a High Court challenge to block the ACT bill which will legalise same-sex marriage in the territory.
The ACT government has indicated it will vigorously defend its laws.
Acting director of Australian Marriage Equality, Ivan Hinton, said the attorney general needs to release any advice he has received before mounting an action against the ACT law.
“Based on the expert constitutional legal advice we have received and that was received by the recent NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into this issue we are confident that a territory and state same sex marriage laws would withstand a High Court challenge,” said Hinton.
“Our confidence is shared with the ACT Government who has already declared that they would defend the law vigorously if challenged.
“It is imperative that George Brandis releases any advice he has received from the Solicitor General to allow for public and expert scrutiny before any action is taken"
“As a result of progress in Tasmania this week we are expecting further constitutional legal advice to be released that will further reinforce states and territories right to legalise same sex marriage.”