Marriage equality postal plebiscite challenge returns to the High Court

Marriage equality postal plebiscite challenge returns to the High Court

A second directions hearing of the urgent High Court challenge to the Australian Government’s postal plebiscite on marriage equality will happen this afternoon.

Anna Brown, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, which is representing Australian Marriage Equality and Senator Janet Rice, said the urgent challenge was necessary to test the constitutional validity of the postal plebiscite on marriage equality. 

“The right to be treated equally under Australian law and marry the person you love – should be afforded to all. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people should be able to marry the person they love. We don’t need a glorified opinion poll to know this. This challenge is to ensure basic dignity and respect for the LGBTIQ community,” said Ms Brown

“There are important questions about the lawfulness of this postal plebiscite. It is appropriate for the High Court to consider them,” said Ms Brown.

Alex Greenwich, Co-Chair of Australian Marriage Equality, said it was important for the national campaign for marriage equality to bring this action on behalf the many supporters of marriage equality across the country.

“The Government can and should legislate for marriage equality right now. It's time we all moved forward and celebrated achieving a reform that is all about our national values of fairness and equality. We are grateful for the strong support across the country and hope the High Court provides much needed clarity for LGBTIQ people, their friends and families,” said Mr Greenwich.

Senator Janet Rice, a long-time advocate for marriage equality and member of the LGBTIQ community, said the postal plebiscite was an attempt by opponents of marriage equality to go behind the back of Australia’s elected representatives.

"I’m pleased that the movement for equality has put forward strong legal challenges, and I’m honoured to be a part of these. The postal plebiscite would subvert the will of the Parliament after the Senate again rejected legislation for a plebiscite. LGBTIQ Australians and their families will be hurt by this expensive, divisive, non-compulsory, non-binding postal plebiscite,” said Senator Rice.