Australia had a gay-marriage law — for five days. On Thursday, the country’s highest court struck it down, sidelining the dreams of more than two dozen gay couples who had traded vows but now faced immediate annulment.
The court’s ruling was due to the federal government’s challenge of an Australian Capital Territory law that had gone into effect last Saturday, The Associated Press reported.
“This was an unprecedented and historic opportunity,” said Ivan Hinton, who had just married Chris Teoh and was in process of going through a name-change when the court ruling was handed down. Still, he said, “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
The High Court’s logic: The ACT law doesn’t allow for different laws in different parts of Australia, and the existing and federal Marriage Act already defined marriage as between a man and a woman, AP said.
“The Marriage Act does not now provide for the formation or recognition of marriage between same sex couples. The Marriage Act provides that a marriage can be solemnized in Australia only between a man and a woman,” the court said in a statement issued alongside its ruling, AP reported. “That Act is a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law of marriage.”