Court Challenge Fails: Australia Votes on Same-Sex Marriage
The High Court in Australia has decided that a national postal vote on same-sex marriage will take place, after the challenge by marriage equality advocates failed
Advocates of same-sex marriage had taken the government to court regarding the postal vote which they considered both unnecessary and an illegal use of public funds.
However, in the decision that took place on Thursday, the High Court ruled that the national survey could go ahead. This means that ballot papers will be mailed out to households across Australia starting with September 12, which marks the beginning of a two-month process.
The question written on the ballot paper will be: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
On August 8, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the national vote, after another attempt to pass his preferred plebiscite failed in the senate.
However, unlike the plebiscite, the postal vote is voluntary and does not require and sort of legislation to be carried forward.
As a response to the announcement of the survey, opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten tweeted: “Alright, let’s win this.”
“All Australians deserve the same opportunity for love, commitment and happiness. All people in Australia should be able to marry the person they love,” Brown told journalists outside the court.
“This plebiscite was completely and is completely unnecessary. LGBTI people didn’t ask for this plebiscite but now the court has determined (it) will go ahead … Vote yes for love.” said Anna Brown, director of the Human Rights Law Center legal advocacy group
“We need to double our efforts to ensure every Australian understands the consequences of changing the Marriage Act,” the Marriage Alliance wrote on their Facebook page after the decision.