Australia’s High Court has struck down gay marriage in the nation’s capital where dozens have wed under a landmark law, ruling that parliament must decide whether to approve same-sex unions.
Had the nation’s top court upheld the Australian Capital Territory’s gay marriage legislation it would have opened the door to similar laws being passed across the country, pressuring the government to make it legal at a national level.
In a unanimous decision, Australia’s highest court ruled that the federal parliament — not state and territory authorities — had the ultimate say over marriage, and whether it was extended to same-sex couples was a matter for lawmakers.
“The Marriage Act does not now provide for the formation or recognition of marriage between same-sex couples,” the court said.
“That Act is a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law of marriage,” it added.