Marriage equality advocates have sought leave to defend laws allowing same-sex couples to marry in the current High Court case against the ACT’s Marriage Equality Act.

In a written submission to the Court, Australian Marriage Equality argues that the ACT law should be allowed to stand and the Federal Parliament and state parliaments also have the constitutional power to legislate for same-sex marriages.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“This is the first and potentially the most important High Court hearing on marriage equality in Australia and we believe it is important for us to give voice to those couples seeking equal legal affirmation of their lifelong commitment, and to all Australians who support this urgent reform.”

“We will submit to the Court that the ACT’s marriage equality law does not impinge on federal marriage legislation and should be allowed to stand.”

“We will also ask the Court to address the issue of whether the Federal Parliament has the power to legislate for marriage between same-sex couples.”

“Further, our submission will highlight the way the legal parameters of marriage have changed over the decades and that the States and Territories have played a role in the evolution of marriage law.”

AME is seeking to appear as a “Friend of the Court” and has filed a written submission, and an affidavit and summons seeking leave to appear.

The High Court will decide whether to allow AME to appear at the start of the hearing which is scheduled to take place on December 3rd and 4th.

The Federal Government has challenged the ACT’s Marriage Equality Act on the basis that there is and should remain one national uniform marriage law in Australia.

The ACT has responded by arguing that its Act is constitutionally valid because there is no explicit federal ban on same-sex marriages and because of its powers under the Territory Self-Government Act.

Jeremy Kirk SC and Perry Herzfeld will appear for AME, instructed by the Human Rights Law Centre and Allens.

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.

To see AME’s submission, click here: http://www.hcourt.gov.au/assets/cases/c13-2013/Cth-ACT_AME.pdf

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome