Toss The Bouquet!…Into The Garbage: Australia Bans Gay Marriage — Again

Matthew Mitcham of AustraliaIt is not a good week for international gays. First India bans gay sex now Australia has overturned a new law that had allowed same-sex couples to marry since Sunday. For those over two dozen couples who tied the knot, their unions will be invalidated.

“I don’t want to be unmarried this afternoon,” Ivan Hinton, who had married his partner Chris Teoh in the capital of Canberra, said outside the High Court Thursday.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), a small self-governing territory in Australia that includes national capital Canberra, passed a marriage equality law independent of the federal government last month. The High Court, however, unanimously ruled that the ACT law conflicted with the 2004 federal Marriage Act, which restricted marriage to a man and woman. Marriage, the court said, is a matter to be decided by the national parliament.

While neighboring island-nation New Zealand smoothly passed marriage equality back in April — it even included a song, you guys — efforts to pass similar legislation in Australia have been rebuffed by Prime Minister and noted stick-in-the-mud Tony Abbott. Abbott and his coalition of the unwilling blocked two pieces of marriage equality legislation last year, but this latest defeat has only emboldened Aussie activists and LGBTs.

“This is just a temporary defeat,” said Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome. “What is far more important is that the ACT’s law facilitated the first same-sex marriage on Australian soil and showed the nation the love and commitment of same-sex couples.”

As for Ivan hinton and Christ Teoh, though their marriage will be annulled, Hinton said he will always consider Teoh his husband and that he wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to marry him “for the world.”

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  • Scarlet Cox

    Really, Australia?

    Just when we were celebrating you emerging from the dark ages, you willingly plunge right back in.

  • AuntieChrist

    One would think that a country started primarily as a penal colony would be a lot more open to man on man action…British imperialism wins yet again…

  • marc sfe

    @krystalkleer: Isn’t it the truth??? Gillard was bad enough but Abbott?? Oh man…..

  • AuntieChrist

    @krystalkleer: I’m curious…You post on every article always including your blog link…What do you offer there..? And how do I know that it is safe..???

  • Charlie in Charge

    Oh Australia, you always had such a rep for being easy going and carefree. This is really disappointing.

  • Kangol

    This is what happens when you have an activist right-wing party and government in power. Thanks to them, Australians seeking marriage equality no longer have it.

    Where are the right-wingers to defend yet another anti-gay right-wing policy? When will they wake up?

  • jimbryant

    Let’s face it – Australia’s gay community is generally lazy and naïve. It lacks the smarts of the American gay community. It has consistently failed to build a coalition across party political lines, instead holding to the false notion that “the Labor Party will always stick up for us”.

    Australia has never really been carefree and easy-going, by the way. This façade has been promoted by propaganda arms of the government, usually the Australian Tourism Bureau, for the purpose of bringing tourists over to the country.

    There is a lot of racism and homophobia throughout Australia.

  • jimbryant

    On the issue of Australia’s gay community, it has held for too long to the “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” notion. This notion is based on the idea that, since Australians find drag funny, then they must also accept gay people.

    The reality is that acceptance of drag and acceptance of gay people are two totally different things.

  • TampaBayTed

    Since when does drag equal gay?

  • Daniel-Reader

    Well, remind people who want a nice Australian vacation that they cannot have one because human rights aren’t protected. Instead, remind them that the sunny beaches of California, Hawaii, Brazil, Spain, France, Portugal, Uruguay, Argentina, and New Zealand are some of the great alternatives with great beaches friends and family can enjoy.

  • mcowenx3

    This is absolutely ridiculous and uncalled for. They obviously need to realize that a new UtopiaTM will arise and spread Happily, is all about doing that and I think it’s going to happen. WE THE PEOPLE LOVE GBTL!!!

  • dangermouse99

    I’m not sure whether people are aware, but in Australia we just about have have equal rights under the law, as same-sex relationships are included as defacto unions, which have equivalency to married couples in all legal aspects.

    I think this has made us seem a little more blase about fighting for marriage equality, because it REALLY is just a symbolic fight at this point (as opposed to giving actual legal protections in some countries)

  • jimbryant


    No, you don’t have equal rights under the law in Australia.

  • DuMaurier

    Legal marriage is, to me, something more than “symbolic”, but Australia isn’t exactly Saudi Arabia. Other than marriage, LGBT rights for individuals and couples are far in advance of the vast majority of countries in the world. Marriage is going to happen, it would probably pass now if the Prime Minister would allow a free vote in Parliament.

  • seito

    Wait! No one wants to call Australia a sh!t-hole like some people were commenting about India yesterday? Well colour me surprised.

  • jimbryant


    Australians tend to look down their noses at gay men, referring to them as ‘poofs’.

    Australia’s gays lack power and passion. They failed to build connections across party political lines. Sydney’s gays are more interested in drag and dance parties than they are in gay marriage. Oh, and did I forget amyl and alcohol?

  • Tyler100


    JiimBryant lacks humanity and decency. He has failed to prove any of the things he says are true. He’s more interested in riling us all up with ridiculous rants than he is contributing to the gay community. Oh, and did I forget his self-loathing and misogyny?

    What a loser.

  • ait10101

    @jimbryant: I lived in Australia for ten years. You are mistaken. Seriously mistaken.

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