Honeymoon Over for Gay Couples After Australia Overturns Same-Sex Marriage

gay marriage
Australia's high court overturned gay marriage in the nation.

The honeymoon was short-lived for Australia's gay couples who married in the past five days after the high court overturned new same-sex marriage laws on Thursday, invalidating wedding ceremonies performed since Saturday.

Around 20 gay couples had tied the knot since December 7, when Australia's first same-sex marriage laws came into force in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The first ceremonies were celebrated a minute after midnight (8 a.m. ET Friday).

Australia's conservative national government had challenged the law in the high court on the grounds it conflicted with federal law. On Thursday, the court upheld the challenge and unanimously decided that the ACT law was invalid.

The court said the issue of same-sex marriage was a matter for the national parliament. Laws to legalize same-sex marriage failed to pass in the national parliament in September 2012.

Other countries where same-sex marriages are legal include Canada, Spain, Sweden and New Zealand, which in April became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage.

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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