Definition of "marriage" under Marriage Amendment Act 2004 violates Human Rights

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At present in Australia, same-sex couples are denied the right to marry in the same way prescribed by the definition of "marriage" under the Marriage Act (as amended). This discriminates against same-sex couples on the basis of their sexuality and does not treat them as "equal before the law".

In this way, the relationship status of same-sex couples remains on par with domestic relationships and de facto relationships, making it harder to prove the validity of the relationship and hence any legal rights flowing henceforth if brought into question by the courts.

In 2004, the Howard Government passed Marriage Amendment Act to amend the definition of "marriage" under s.5 to provide, "the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life".  The insertion of "a man and a woman" violates Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

"All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination."

It is also contrary to the provisions of Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

"All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."

Any legislative instrument enacted which is contrary to the above Declaration and/or Civil and Political Rights is abuse of power and so the current Turnbull Government should void it immediately.

Short of this, the matter should be forwarded on to the United Nations Human Rights Council for evaluation/monitoring/intervention et cetera.



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