Previous polls show most Australians want marriage equality, but it’s how we can get there that is dividing many.
After the Federal Government twice failed to gain support for an election poll-style non-binding plebiscite, it went ahead with plans for a postal “survey” of Australian’s views on same-sex marriage. However, like the proposed plebiscite, it’s going to be costly and not everyone is happy about it, which brings us to the High Court of Australia.
On Tuesday, a hearing began in the High Court and if you’re a bit baffled about why, then read on, because we’re going to attempt to break this complicated issue down.
What’s happening in the High Court?
Unimpressed the government is wasting $122 million on a decision they think parliamentarians should be making themselves, two groups have legally challenged the Federal Government on their postal survey.
One group includes Australian Marriage Equality and Greens Senator Janet Rice. The second is made up of MP Andrew Wilkie; Shelley Argent from Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays; and Victorian mother-of-three Felicity Marlowe.
While this now-united group’s motivation for the challenge is mainly to avoid a ‘No’ campaign they say could be harmful to the mental health of LGBTI people, their grounds for challenging the Federal Government are largely technical.
In order to pay for the postal vote, the Commonwealth will draw from a funding pool set aside for “urgent” and “unforeseen” matters – which the government says can be used to pay for the survey without parliamentary approval.