“Postal Plebiscite” on Same-Sex Marriage Roils the Waters in Australia

With its national government gearing up to conduct a voluntary non-binding postal survey on whether the law should be changed to allow same sex marriage, Australia has descended into even greater farce in its progress to marriage equality.

Australia is one of the few rich countries which has not achieved marriage equality.   In 2013, the High Court of Australia (Australia’s apex court) confirmed that the federal Parliament’s constitutional power to legislate in respect of marriage meant a state or territory could not pass a law inconsistent with the Commonwealth’s legislation confining the marriage right to opposite sex couples.   At the same time, it declared that the constitutional marriage power extended to legislating for same sex marriage.

For the full story, access the September 2017 issue of LGBT Law Notes.