High Court declares government’s same-sex marriage vote lawful

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September 7, 2017

Photo: Flickr/ Jamie Perez

The High Court of Australia has confirmed that the government’s decision to hold and fund the postal vote on same-sex marriage is lawful.

PIAC represented 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 in a High Court challenge to the government’s decision to hold the postal plebiscite without the authorisation of parliament.

The Human Rights Law Centre also brought a case on behalf of Australian Marriage Equality and Janet Rice, a Victorian Greens Senator.

‘This case raised important issues about the way that power is exercised by government and the role of parliament in our democracy,’ said PIAC CEO, Jonathon Hunyor.

‘This is a disappointing outcome but PIAC is proud to have assisted our clients in testing the limits of government power, particularly in a case where the right to equality before the law is in issue.’

‘This was a quintessential public interest case and our clients were brave to bring it.’

‘Now we need to focus on ending discrimination against same-sex couples and making marriage equality a reality.’

‘There is going to be a vote. Let’s make sure the result reflects our values of equality and fairness,’ said Jonathon Hunyor.

PIAC thanks counsel, Ron Merkel QC, Kathleen Foley, Christopher Tran and Simona Gorey for their exceptional work on this case.

MEDIA CONTACT: PIAC Media and Communications Manager, Gemma Pearce: 0478 739 280.

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