AU’s First Same-sex Marriage Happens on Saturday

  • Rate this Story
  • 0
  • 0

By Athena Yenko | December 4, 2013 1:14 PM EST

Alan Wright and Joel Player might become the first same-sex couple to be married in Australia as they already scheduled the celebration of love on Saturday, Dec 7 at 12:01am. This was despite The Commonwealth's question on the validity of ACT's Marriage Equality Bill.

''We are definitely going ahead. I personally feel that it's going to send a strong message to everyone ... I think it's important for us to show that Australia really needs this," Mr Wright said.

The ACT's Marriage Equality Bill passed in October was being challenged by The Commonwealth saying that marriage is exclusively under the governance of the federal law, hence, marriage as a "uniform and exhaustive" national regulation should be upheld.

"If you ask a question 'who can a person marry?' the sole answer is in the federal law. A man and a woman can marry ... you cannot marry a person under age or if a person is in a previous state of marriage. (The ACT law) is not to be construed to be so extensive to allow the Territory to impose laws which alter, impair or detract from federal law," Australian Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson told the court.

Mr Gleeson explained that the Marriage Act was founded on laws of Australian Federation, hence, couples should abide by the bounds that only the "matrimonial clauses" provide. If the law can be as flexible as going beyond these clauses, then such law will be "repugnant to the grandeur of power, he emphasised.

Final rulings on same-sex marriage will have to wait until Dec 12.

ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said that same-sex couples can get married until Sunday, at the very least.

''No injunction has been sought so that means the laws are operational this weekend. Couples who have given their notice can get married this weekend, albeit with the uncertainty surrounding this case [has] yet to be resolved," Mr Corbell said.

"[In] all probability, we have a five-day window in which same-sex couples will marry on Australian soil for the first time. All of those Australians that support marriage equality will be overjoyed that finally, in this country, we will see same-sex couples marrying,'' Australian Marriage Equality director Rodney Croome said.

In fact, there were already 47 couples who had lodged their marriage at least a month's notice of their dates to marry.

''It clearly demonstrates same-sex couples and their families are yearning to declare their commitment in a marriage ceremony. I know [couples] will embrace the opportunity to marry under the ACT law this weekend," Mr Corbell said.

To contact the editor, e-mail:

  • Rate this Story
  • 0
  • 0
This article is copyrighted by IBTimes.com.au, the business news leader

Join the Conversation

IBTimes TV
E-Newsletters

We value your privacy. Your email address will not be shared.