The High Court, Democracy and Same Sex Marriage

Barry Maley
19 July 2016 | OP147
The High Court, Democracy and Same Sex Marriage

The High Court in 2013 overturned the understanding of marriage in the Marriage Act 1961 as an exclusive, voluntary, heterosexual union for life, and that the Constitution therefore allowed the introduction of same sex marriage if the Parliament so decided. It is argued that the High Court’s decision was incorrect. In effect, the Constitution has been altered in a faulty and undemocratic way, and this should be remedied by holding a national referendum. A plebiscite to test public opinion, promised by the Coalition parties, does not allow the people of Australia to have a determining say on the matter, and only a referendum can achieve that and the publication so recommends.

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