Having now read the Australian Capital Territory’s Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013, I can reach no other conclusion than it is deliberately designed to fail. Far from being a genuine attempt to advance the cause of marriage equality, it seems little more than a political stunt aimed at trying to embarrass Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

I am not a QC or expert in constitutional law, but having served for six years as the Australian Democrats’ spokesman for the attorney-general's portfolio I did come to grips with the fundamentals of federal law and the limitations on state and territory trespass.