Gay couples given five-day window to wed after High Court reserves decision

Gay couples given five-day window to wed after High Court reserves decision

The ACT will host the first same-sex marriages in Australian history this weekend, after the High Court reserved its decision in the Commonwealth's challenge to the territory laws.

The Commonwealth had told the court the territory's historic laws were in contravention of the federal marriage act.

Same-sex couples have a five-day window to wed.

Same-sex couples have a five-day window to wed.Credit:Hagen Hopkins

The court will make its decision known on December 12, meaning couples could have a five-day window to wed under the country's first same-sex marriage law before the court could overturn the act.


ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said couples would be able to get married this weekend at least.

''No injunction has been sought so that means the laws are operational this weekend,'' he said. ''Couples who have given their notice can get married this weekend, albeit with the uncertainty surrounding this case yet to be resolved.''

Australian Marriage Equality director Rodney Croome said ''[in] all probability, we have a five-day window in which same-sex couples will marry on Australian soil for the first time''.

''All of those Australians that support marriage equality will be overjoyed that finally, in this country, we will see same-sex couples marrying,'' he said.

Mr Corbell said 47 couples had already given at least a month's notice of their intention to marry, as required under the law.

''It clearly demonstrates same-sex couples and their families are yearning to declare their commitment in a marriage ceremony,'' Mr Corbell said. ''I know [couples] will embrace the opportunity to marry under the ACT law this weekend.''

Alan Wright and Joel Player plan to become the first same-sex couple to marry in Australia, at 12.01am on Saturday.

''We are definitely going ahead,'' Mr Wright said. ''I personally feel that it's going to send a strong message to everyone … I think it's important for us to show that Australia really needs this.''

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