Australia Strikes Down Gay Marriage, After 5 Days

Top court annuls dozens of marriages
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2013 12:46 AM CST
Newlywed couples hug after taking their wedding vows during a ceremony at Old Parliament House in Canberra, Australia on the weekend.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
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(Newser) – Australia's highest court has struck down the country's first law allowing same-sex marriages less than a week after the first weddings took place. The court sided with the federal government, which argued that Australian Capital Territory's law was invalid and having different marriage laws in different states and territories would create confusion, the Australian reports. More than two dozen marriages that took place after the ACT's law was introduced on Saturday will now be annulled.

"This is devastating for those couples who married this week and for their families," says the national director of Australian Marriage Equality, though he describes the decision as a "temporary defeat." Legalizing gay marriage will now be up to Australia's federal government, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott is opposed. (In another setback for gay rights this week, India's top court has ruled to reinstate a colonial-era law that makes gay sex a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.)

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