The “Liberals” have struck.
The Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, has agreed to disallow the ACT’s civil union laws.
The Federal Government objected to the law, which recognises gay and lesbian relationships, saying it was at odds with the Marriage Act.
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says in a meeting of the executive council this morning, the Governor-General agreed to overturn the law.
The move is effective from today, and Mr Ruddock says it will prevent the ACT Government’s attempt to speed up the approval of civil unions.
“In effect the ploy of bringing forward the date of operation and endeavouring to provide for registration of civil celebrants has failed,” he said….
…Mr Ruddock says the Federal Government respects the rights of the ACT to make laws, as long as they do not exceed the Territory’s powers.
“We have no quarrel with the Territory’s legislating in those areas in which it has responsibility, and we accept the decisions that they make supported by their electorate,” he said.
“Except when they provocatively and deliberately seek to intrude into areas in which they have no responsibility.”
The relevant article of the Australian Constitution is Section 51(xxxvii), explained there in Wikipedia. If anyone out there is competent in this area — I am not — how much credence should we give to Attorney-General Ruddock’s use of it today? Is he, and are the government, bending it to their predetermined ends, or is this a proper interpretation? I really don’t know. I will be interested in any opinions.*
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom…
Gay weddings are not legal in the UK. However, the Civil Partnership Act (passed in 2004) creates a new legal relationship of “civil partnership”, which two people of the same sex can form by signing a registration document. Civil partners will have a range of legal rights and responsibilities, although not all of those associated with marriage. The act came into force in December 2005.
Hell will freeze over before John Howard really regards gays and lesbians as his equals.
It appears, though, that families still exist in the United Kingdom. People marry — or some do— have children, and get divorced, just as they did before Elton John finally tied the knot. Isn’t that amazing!
Comments (and corrections) duly arrived. Thanks. Read the comments.