Federal government to challenge ACT same-sex laws

Challenge to ACT

The Federal government will challenge the ACT's same-sex marriage laws in the High Court as soon as they are passed but the ACT government has vowed to fight the challenge, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Attorney-General George Brandis yesterday described the territory laws as 'a threat' to the 'well-established position' that marriage laws should be nationally consistent and were the domain of the Commonwealth.

Senator Brandis informed the ACT government of the legal challenge in a phone call on Wednesday night before confirming the move at a meeting of state and territory attorneys-general on Thursday.

The ACT government says it will 'robustly defend' its laws, which are expected to pass at the October sitting of the ACT Legislative Assembly with the support of all eight Labor MLAs and Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury.

The Federal government will ask for an expedited High Court hearing and has called on the ACT government not to pass its laws until their constitutional validity is tested. Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said on Twitter that the ACT government had declined that request.

'It would be very distressing to individuals who may enter into a ceremony of marriage under the new ACT law, and to their families, to find that their marriages were invalid,' Senator Brandis said.

He said the advice of the acting federal Solicitor-General was that the ACT's marriage equality bill was invalid because it was inconsistent with the Commonwealth Marriage Act.

FULL STORY Federal government to challenge ACT same-sex laws

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