Australian federal government challenges the Australian Capital Territory’s equal marriage law

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The Australian federal government plans to oppose Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) equal marriage law, claiming it to be unconstitutional in the high court.

There are two opposing governments in Australia—the federal government Liberal Party led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT’s Labor Government) led by Attorney General Simon Corbell.

The federal government is against same-sex marriage whereas the ACT Government is supportive of the legalization in support of gay marriage. The federal government will be opposing the ACT Government by claiming that same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

However, the Australian Marriage Equality organization and ACT are confident that the same-sex marriage law will pass without interference.

“Based on the expert constitutional legal advice we have received and that was received by the recent NSW [New South Wales] Parliamentary Inquiry into this issue we are confident that a territory and state same sex marriage laws would withstand a High Court challenge,” Australian Marriage Equality acting director Ivan Hinton said in an interview with Gay Star News.

“Our confidence is shared with the ACT Government who have already declared that they would defend the law vigorously if challenged.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s liberal party has publicly opposed marriage equality while ACT’s Labor government supported the measure.

“Coalition party policy is that marriage is between a man and a woman,” said Abbott in an interview with Sky News Australia in April.

Currently, marriage equality is prohibited on the federal level in Australia, which is why LGBT advocacy groups are encouraging LGBT couples to marry now in the New South Wales territory.

“The more people we have expressing their love and commitment will make it harder for any laws to be overturned,” said Australian Marriage Equality chair Alex Greenwich in a press release. “I would encourage as many same-sex couples to get married in the ACT as possible.”
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