Marriage Comes To Australia's Capital!
the great news:
The Labor Government passed its Marriage Equality Same-Sex Bill in the Legislative Assembly with the help of Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury. The laws will allow an authorised celebrant to marry gay couples within the ACT, regardless of where they live. "I am proud to stand for equality. I am proud to stand for decency and I am proud to stand for respect," Mr Rattenbury told the Assembly today. "Perhaps most simply I am proud to stand in support of the notion that two people who love each other should be able to get married." Amendments were also passed to strengthen the laws against any challenge in the High Court. It is expected same-sex couples will be able to take advantage of the new laws before Christmas, after they give four weeks notice of their intent to marry.The federal government is expected to challenge the bill.
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis has warned the ACT that the laws will be subject to a High Court challenge. Earlier this month, Senator Brandis said he had received advice the bill was "invalid by reason of inconsistency" with the Commonwealth Marriage Act. Prime Minister Tony Abbott's sister and Sydney City Councillor, Christine Forster, has bought into the debate, calling for federal Liberal MPs to be allowed a conscience vote on the issue if legislation comes before the Parliament. Revealing that she and her partner have been engaged since March, Ms Forster said she hoped the new Liberal party room would regard the issue as a matter of conscience. "Marriage is about love, it's about people's feelings, it's a matter of the heart," she told Channel 9.