The High Court yesterday reserved its decision in the Commonwealth's challenge to the territory laws, paving the way for gay couples to marry in the ACT this weekend, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
The court has reserved its decision in the case, in which the Commonwealth argues the territory's historic laws are in contravention of the federal marriage act, until December 12. No injunctions were sought or ordered, so the law should take effect on Saturday.
This means couples could have a five-day window to wed under the country's first same-sex marriage law before a decision is published by the court as to whether or not to overturn the Act. However, only those couples who have already registered with the government will be able to get married during this period. The law requires couples give at least a month's notice before vows can be exchanged.
Attorney-General George Brandis has repeatedly refused to comment in the lead-up to the hearing, but has previously described the ACT's law as a 'threat' to the 'well-established position' that marriage laws should be nationally uniform.
The Abbott government acted swiftly to strike down the ACT law and mounted its challenge immediately after the Legislative Assembly passed the same-sex marriage bill in October.