The High Court hearing into the ACT’s Marriage Equality Same-Sex Bill is expected to begin tomorrow after the Commonwealth lodged a writ of summons in the High Court challenging the law. The federal government says the bill is inconsistent with the Commonwealth Marriage Act and the Family Law Act. It’s requested the High Court to expedite a hearing into the legislation.ABC News is reporting
a judge has listed the matter for hearing tomorrow afternoon. Earlier today The Canberra Times reported
on the writ, which includes a proposed timeline for the matter to be heard. It sets out a one or two day hearing of the full court as early as November 26.
“The Commonwealth contends that the proceeding should be heard at the earliest possible date, to reduce or avoid the uncertainty that will hang over the validity of the ACT Marriage ACT," the writ says. "That uncertainty is exacerbated to the extent that persons may wish to enter into marriages under the ACT Marriage Act before its validity is determined.”
The ACT’s Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Attorney-General Simon Corbell continue to defend the ACT bill saying it has a high chance of surviving. Legal advice prepared for the ACL suggests the bill is inconsistent with the constitution.
It was heartening to see statements come from church community around Australia this week. On Monday a statement
was released by a group of Abrahamic Faith Leaders of Canberra affirming the traditional concept of marriage between a man and a woman. Canberra Pastor Brian Medway spoke to SBS Australia for its news report on Tuesday asking why the ACT government had failed to consult church leaders and the community on the legislation. Monsigner John Woods, Administrator of the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, had an opinion piece published in The Canberra Times
on Wednesday arguing marriage is about difference not sameness.
The ACL has been involved in the marriage debate for many years and will continue to advocate for marriage between a man and a woman. It provides a natural, timeless and sustainable foundation for our society. The Commonwealth Marriage Act did not invent marriage, rather it recognises and protects something that has existed since the beginning of history.
Marriage serves as the best, most stable environment where society can nurture and protect its next generation. Marriage and family are intrinsically linked to human existence and human flourishing. This is not to say that single people don't contribute to society. Instead it merely recognises that every child owes their existence to a mum and a dad.
Furthermore, redefining marriage has religious liberty implications. The ACT government has continued to say that religious freedoms are protected under this legislation – that no minister of religion will be required to solemnise a marriage, nor will any church or place of worship be required to host a ceremony. However, this fails to acknowledge that there's no stopping an action being taken against a minister under the Discrimination Act or Human Rights Act as churches are generally public places.