Sunday 15 April 2012
Special Edition 6
marriage bills may be unconstitutional: law professors
In a media release yesterday, Family Voice Australia said that legal experts,
including two law professors, told a
House of Representatives gay
marriage bill inquiry yesterday that
the legislation could be thrown out by the High
barrister Christopher Brohier that
there are constitutional uncertainties with both
the Marriage Amendment Bill (sponsored
by Labor MP Stephen Jones) and the Marriage
Equality Bill (sponsored by Greens MP
Adam Bandt and Independent Andrew Wilkie).
Rochow and Brohier argued that according to the traditional method of
constitutional interpretation, the
meaning of “marriage” in this section is the
meaning marriage had in 1901 – the
union of a man and a woman, exclusive of all
others, voluntarily entered into for
life. This meaning could only be
changed by a
High Court ruling or a constitutional
disagreed, saying referendums are too
expensive – and that despite the
uncertainties, the legislation should go
ahead and be tested in the High Court,
which could follow the traditional
interpretation or choose a more expansive
include same-sex unions – why not
polygamy? Committee member Dr
Sharman Stone (Lib,
Vic) said this is a big issue in her
electorate, with many people from Middle East
cultures pressing to have their
polygamous marriages recognised.
to the House of Representatives
committee hearing (held in the Macquarie Room of the
NSW Parliament House, 12/4/12).
its potential to produce children of
the union, raised in a stable environment with
their natural mother and father –
something that same-sex unions can never do.
procreation to recreation,” Dr
Phillips said. “This would not
be in children’s or
society’s best interests.”
Dr Phillips also pointed out that
homosexual identity is fluid. He
did not say
“homosexuality can be cured”
(wrongly reported by an AAP journalist on 12/4/12).
Rather, he quoted evidence that some
80% of same-sex attracted teenagers were
opposite-sex attracted a decade later.
Studies of identical twins have shown
that where one twin is homosexual, the other
is usually heterosexual – even though
they both have the same genes and the same
hormonal influences in the womb.
“There is no single gene that determines
homosexuality,” Dr Phillips said.
“Rather, the dominant influence is life
experiences after birth.
“Spontaneous change can and does
happen – both ways. It is wrong
and harmful to
tell teens that their sexual identity
is set in concrete when there is evidence that
change can occur – without any
treatment or ‘cure’,” Dr Phillips said.