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Crikey says: don’t blame the High Court for marriage

The Holden fallout: the government’s bad day, how GM gets out OK and why Olympic Dam won’t save Adelaide workers. There’s new job figures out, and why the Takeovers Panel let Virgin fly. Which paper breached press standards most in 2013? Helen Razer on the violence of Nelson Mandela. And arts critics: should they be anonymous?

Stop press: the High Court just effectively divorced 30-odd happy newlyweds — and broke the hearts of thousands more couples around Australia.

In a unanimous decision announced at 12pm AEST, the court held “the whole of the ACT Act is of no effect”:

The Court held that the federal Parliament has power under the Australian Constitution to legislate with respect to same sex marriage, and that under the Constitution and federal law as it now stands, whether same sex marriage should be provided for by law is a matter for the federal Parliament.”

It is, in fact, the only constitutional decision the justices could have reached — the ACT legislation goes against the Commonwealth Marriage Act that states, explicitly, that marriage is between a man and a woman. On this, the feds rule.

So don’t blame the court. Blame the man who rewrote the laws, John Howard, to protect against this very move. And blame the man who now leads the Coalition, Tony Abbott, who refuses to give his members a say in changing the law — killing the issue stone dead until he does.

This fight can’t be won by well-meaning state and territory governments, or progressive members of the judiciary. That power rests with one man.

5
  • 1
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Thursday, 12 December 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Mr Pe ll, Abbo tt et al must be very, very happy. As for How ard the Iraq war clim-min-nal no doubt he will rejoice. A po x on all of them

  • 2
    CML
    Posted Thursday, 12 December 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Spot on, Bill. They are all a waste of space!

  • 3
    AR
    Posted Thursday, 12 December 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Nipped by Bill, of course the man with the Plan is Pell.
    How come, if he no playa da game he getta t’make da rools?

  • 4
    Iskandar
    Posted Thursday, 12 December 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Sign seen in New York in May 1970 at a Vietnam war demo: Nixon! Pull out! Like your father should have done!

    Same sentiment applies to Little Johnny.

    Then again, Rudd-Gillard could have rewritten the Marriage Act but did not. Progressive politics is in short supply in this country.

  • 5
    Posted Monday, 16 December 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    This editorial is like much commentary in overstating the power of 1 person: the federal Liberals would have a conscience vote on same sex marriage if a significant number of caucus insisted.

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