No further amendments to be made to ACT same-sex marriage bill
Marriage equality advocates are concerned the ACT government has placed in jeopardy the Same Sex Marriage Bill by ignoring advice to make critical amendments prior to the High Court challenge.
Despite advice from prominent constitutional barristers, the ACT government has decided to avoid further amendments.
Deputy Director of Australian Marriage Equality, Ivan Hinton, believes the ACT should have acknowledged the flaws in the Bill and amended it in order for it to have its best chance of surviving a High Court challenge.
"The ACT Government's refusal to acknowledge the flaws that exist in the current legislation is remarkable considering the quality of advice that has been provided. Brett Walker is recognised as Australia's top constitutional barrister and George Williams is the most respected academic in the field," said Hinton.
Hinton says these minor amendments would have eliminated all potential points of conflict with the Federal Marriage Act, directly addressing concerns that had been identified by the Commonwealth's Statement of Claim in its petition to the High Court. He calls on the ACT to review their decision and make amendments to avoid disappointing 1000s of same-sex couples who are currently planning their nuptials.
"We know of hundreds of couples who have started making plans to celebrate their lifelong commitment to one another in our Nation's Capital. The hopes and aspirations of these Australians and their families and friends now rest on a decision by the ACT Government to take its chances on a flawed law.
"Being the first state or territory to enact these laws we had hoped that the ACT would do everything within its authority to ensure these laws survive. At this stage we do not have confidence that this is the case."