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Australia judge rules ban on same-sex marriage is not gender discrimination

Friday, February 22, 2013

SYDNEY, Australia — A federal court judge in Australia has ruled that the country’s ban on same-sex marriage is not gender discrimination since neither gay men nor lesbians are allowed to marry under the legislation, and thus both sexes are treated equally.

In her ruling Wednesday, Justice Jayne Jagot wrote, “A man cannot enter into the state of marriage as defined with another man just as a woman cannot enter into the state of marriage with another woman. “The redress for these circumstances lies in the political and not the legal arena.”

In her decision, Jagot noted that sex discrimination depends on a comparison between the treatment of the person of one sex with the treatment of the opposite sex.

“There cannot be discrimination by reason of the sex of a person because in all cases the treatment of the person of the opposite sex is the same,” she wrote.

Under the current law known as the Marriage Act, marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others.

“By statutory definition, persons of the opposite sex may marry and persons of the same sex may not,” she said.

Same-sex marriage has been a fiercely debated issue in the nation.

During the last session of Parliament last fall, a bill that would have amended the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to marry was defeated in a 98-42 vote, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard among the governing Labor party members who joined the opposition coalition in voting against the law’s passage.

Gillard, who is not married but lives with her opposite sex partner, defended her opposition to same sex marriage: “I think you can have a relationship of love and commitment and trust and understanding that doesn’t need a marriage certificate associated with it.”

In September, 2012, a same-sex marriage equality bill that had passed the lower house of the Tasmanian State Parliament was voted down by the upper house after legal experts, particularly a former state chief justice, called into question the federal constitutional legality of the legislation.

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37 more reader comments:

  1. Booooooo

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:16pm
  2. Don’t give the republicans ideas Australia!

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:16pm
  3. up is down..down is up logic!

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:17pm
  4. Fuck that Australian judge. Stupid ass fool

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:18pm
  5. Great logic. Twisted but great. Wonder how long they had to work to come up with that.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:19pm
  6. just wow!

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:19pm
  7. Sounds like something that would happen in the States.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:20pm
  8. Wow… not cool

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:20pm
  9. It’s not discrimination as long as gay men and women are discriminated against equally? Obviously gay people have less rights there (and sadly most places) than straights.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:20pm
  10. scaredy cats…ooooh the big bad homos are going to ruin the ‘sanctity’ of marriage..tell that to Kim Kardashian..What IS the big deal?..what ARE they so frightened of?.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:22pm
  11. sad

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:22pm
  12. Dislike.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:25pm
  13. That is about the most ridiculous justification there is.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:26pm
  14. Blake and Nancy: It does sound rather like she studied logic under Justice Scalia.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:27pm
  15. These are really simple ideas. Banning gay marriage is saying you can’t marry someone due to your gender. That equals gender discrimination. It doesn’t take a law degree to realize that.

    Rulings like this are just about how the judge personally feels.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:29pm
  16. Please excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:31pm
  17. Sad. And I thought the Aussie’s were more progressive than we are here in the States.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:34pm
  18. Ugh, someone please kick this judge out. Judge Judy would make a better judge than this asshole.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:35pm
  19. Sounds like the judge never took a class in LOGIC! A ridiculous reasoning.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:35pm
  20. omg can i just hide until this generation of crotchety old idiot white men die out?

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:36pm
  21. How is that not gender discrimination? It also happens to be marriage discrimination, and sexual orientation discrimination…three that I can think of.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:42pm
  22. Not long now Andrea!

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:43pm
  23. in response to the prime minister’s bankrupt logic, the point is not that marriage creates or sustains respectable relationships, but that marriage confers ADVANTAGES IN SOCIETY. that gay people can not have. so fuck all yall.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:43pm
  24. I thought Australia was more enlightened than this crap.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:50pm
  25. One of the stupidest things I’ve heard in awhile… and that’s saying something.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:57pm
  26. SHAME !!

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 2:03pm
  27. D bag!

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 2:09pm
  28. Well, he’s wrong. Simple.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 2:18pm
  29. Equally bad treatment is still bad treatment.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 2:18pm
  30. Not an Aussie. Thank god

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 2:23pm
  31. Well his logic is not entirely wrong – this isn’t a case of gender discrimination. As by definition both men and women are treated equally here.

    This is systematic discrimination based on sexuality, not gender.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 2:24pm
  32. its whats happening around the world-homophobia grows stronger again.we should all watch out!!

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 3:18pm
  33. A total cop out by the court. Hopefully, our legal system will not simply put discrimination up to a majority vote–the minority loses every time.

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 3:28pm
  34. Then what the hell is it??????

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 3:43pm
  35. Heterosexism…

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 6:10pm
  36. boooo

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 8:42pm
  37. Well that’s fair . . . discrimination is okay so long as it isn’t gender specific. Idiot, he should look up the definition of discrimination . . .

    Posted on Friday, February 22, 2013 at 9:50pm