Challenge to same-sex marriage postal vote filed in High Court

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Related Project: Accountable Government, Equality, Homepage, Human Rights

August 10, 2017

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre has today commenced proceedings in the High Court, seeking to stop the government proceeding with the postal vote on same sex marriage.

PIAC is representing Andrew Wilkie, Member for Denison, PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and Felicity Marlowe, a mother in a same-sex relationship with three young children.

‘We will be arguing that by going ahead without the authorisation of parliament, the government is acting beyond its power,’ said PIAC CEO, Jonathon Hunyor.

‘We will argue that the government cannot validly undertake a postal vote and also that it cannot fund the exercise without parliamentary approval.

‘These are important issues about the way that power is exercised by governments and the role of parliament in our democracy,’ said Mr Hunyor.

‘PFLAG is taking this case because the parents of LGBTI Australians don’t want to see our children subject to such a demeaning, hate-filled and pointless vote that will go nowhere and resolve nothing,’ said PFLAG National Spokesperson, Shelley Argent.

‘I am worried about the impact the public campaign will have in my children, on my partner and all rainbow families across Australia,’ said Felicity Marlowe.

‘It will be a full-time occupation for the next three months for my partner and I to protect my children from the flyers delivered to our home stating that “children need a mother and a father – so vote no to marriage equality”, or to stop them seeing any billboards or posters in our local shopping centre or along the major roads we take to school every morning.’

Andrew Wilkie said: ‘I have consistently advocated against executive overreach of the kind we see with the postal vote on marriage equality. Parliament should decide if, when and how the people are consulted, and how it’s paid for.’

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