Congratulations on your marriage! Now, give it back.
That’s the unwelcome sentiment that gay couples in Australia might face in having their marriages deemed illegitimate less than a week after exchanging vows. A few happy couples were wed in ceremonies last weekend during what could turn out to be a brief window of opportunity between the moment in which a local law endorsing marriage equality went into effect and the time of a ruling scheduled for Thursday by the Australian High Court on its legality.
The judgement will pass on legislation permitting gay marriage within the Australian Capital Territory, which includes the capital city of Canberra. It seems likely that the law will be found in violation of a federal law prohibiting gay marriages. Should the court decide this, the 27+ marriages performed on behalf of gay couples in the past week could become null.
A Senator is expected to introduce another bill for marriage equality into Parliament on the same day as the ruling. The Prime Minister is not in support of gay marriage and the Australian Parliament has resisted two previous attempts to legalize it.