*The High Court decision to disallow the ACT Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013, has put the focus back on the federal parliament to legislate for marriage equality as the majority of Australians want to see*

Greens MPs in Tasmania, SA, WA, NSW, the ACT and Victoria have introduced marriage equality bills. The Greens have legal advice that state based, same sex marriage would not contradict the Marriage Act 1960, which expressly rules out same-sex marriage. A recent NSW parliamentary Inquiry found that 'the New South Wales Parliament has the power to legislate on the topic of marriage, including same-sex marriage' [and by extension, other state parliaments would too.]

However, the recent High Court decision to disallow the ACT Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 and to also state that the federal parliament has the power to legislate with respect to same sex marriage, has put the focus back on the federal parliament to amend the commonwealth Marriage Act 1960, to achieve marriage equality as the majority of Australians want to see. View the High Court Summary here.

On 12 December, Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced a federal marriage equality bill into the Senate.

"The only way that we will be able to guarantee marriage equality across Australia is to pass reform at a federal level. Australia, as a nation, is ready for this and it's time the Federal Parliament recognised that. With a cross-party marriage group and a clear public majority calling for equality, it is only a matter of time before same-sex marriage becomes a reality nation-wide," Senator Hanson-Young said.

“The day is fast approaching that we will have marriage equality in Australia. The momentum is building and proponents and supporters won't stop until it is achieved.” – Sue Pennicuik MLC, Victorian Greens LGBTI spokesperson.

"Marriage Equality is simply about equality before the law and the elimination of discrimination."

Sue's 2nd reading speech to Parliament 6 June 2012

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