Ask an expert

29 Sep 2006

Con court ruling
Firstly, I apologise for posting here rather than the separate forum for the discussion on same-sex marriages, but it seem like there is more activity here!

There's a excerpt from the CC ruling on same-sex marriages that seems to me (with no legal knowledge) will allow the government to pass the civil union bill :

"If, however, Parliament fails to cure the defect within twelve months, the words “or spouse” will automatically be read into section 30(1) of the Marriage Act. In this event the Marriage Act will, without more, become the legal vehicle to enable same-sex couples to achieve the status and benefits coupled with responsibilities which it presently makes available to heterosexual couples. If Parliament wished to refine or replace the remedy with another legal arrangement that met constitutional standards, it could still have the last word."

It's the part about refining or replacing the remedy that worries me - the civil union bill is supposedly giving us all the same rights as married heterosexual couples, the only difference being that the word "marriage" is not used, and that would meet constitutional standards, my layperson's interpretation anyway.

Is there anyone with some legal experience who can perhaps clear this up for me? Has the wording of the CC ruling opened the door for the government to legally avoid changing the marriage act and to introduce the civil unions bill?
Answer 385 views
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
gay, lesbian and bisexual expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi Wondering and thanks for your post. You make a valid point but I am not qualified to answer your question.

But doesn't it just piss you off totally that the government is using our taxes to attempt to perpetuate ongoing prejudice against us? Estimate the costs of the consultations, legal fees, public hearings, parliamentary expenses and related costs incurred in this complex process... the gay community is contributing to paying for these.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.