1. Same-Sex Marriage – UPDATE
The High Court has handed down its ruling on same sex marriage in the ACT, stating their act is invalid.
In the judgement, it was decided “unanimously” that:
The Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013, enacted by the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory, cannot operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act 1961.
The Court held that the federal Parliament has power under the Australian Constitution to legislate with respect to same sex marriage, and that under the Constitution and federal law as it now stands, whether same sex marriage should be provided for by law is a matter for the federal Parliament.
So… in other words… no gay marriage in Australia. Boo.
You can read the full decision here.
15 couples married in Canberra on Saturday when Australia’s first same-sex marriage law came into effect, with more since.
2. Elite school sex incident
Three 14-year-old boys in year 8 at Sydney’s elite Cranbrook School have agreed to leave after a sexual incident involving a 14-year-old girl.
The incident is said to have taken place in the grounds of Bronte Public School after the girl sent a SMS to one boy and arranged to meet him. The girl is alleged to have had consensual sex with one boy, but the two other boys present then allegedly engaged in sex acts as well.
The boys have left the school.
Another incident involving Cranbrook boys is alleged to have taken place in late September.
Two year 9 boys, aged 15, are alleged to have had sex with a very drunk year 8 girl at a party in Sydney’s east while a third boy allegedly filmed it on his smartphone.
According to the SMH, in that case the school proposed referring the incident to the police.
3. NRL player indecent assault
Rugby League star Blake Ferguson has been convicted of indecent assault after he touched a woman on her vagina in a South Sydney nightclub earlier this year.
His defence – that the woman was drunk, and the lighting was bad was dismissed by the Magistrate. For more on this read this post here. “Sports star convicted indecent assault”.
Australians are being encouraged to ‘have a national conversation about smacking’ after the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child released a report calling for Australia to abolish the longstanding right of parents to use “reasonable chastisement” in smacking a child.
Comparing corporal punishment to domestic violence and assault, it has demanded that Australian parents use “other forms of discipline”.
5. Time’s Person of the year
Time magazine has named Pope Francis its person of the year, crediting him with shifting the message of the Catholic Church while capturing the “imaginations of millions” who had become disillusioned with the Vatican.
6. Holden to close
Australia’s entire car making industry and tens of thousands of jobs have been thrown into doubt by Holden’s decision to close down.
Nearly 3,000 Holden workers are set to lose their jobs over the next four years as the iconic manufacturer winds down its Australian manufacturing operations.