Supporters of the challenge, Sarah Marlowe, Felicity Marlowe and Jacqui Tomlins outside court this week. Photo: Justin McManus
Same-sex marriage postal survey to go ahead after High Court dismisses challenges
High Court gives the green light to Turnbull government’s same-sex marriage survey.
The Turnbull government’s postal vote on same-sex marriage has been given the green light, with the High Court rejecting a legal challenge to the controversial survey just six days before ballots are due to be mailed out to millions of households.
The decision will come as a relief to the government, which would have been placed under renewed pressure to find another way to hold a survey or plebiscite, or through a free vote in Parliament, if the postal survey had been derailed.
Instead, about 16 million people on the electoral role will start receiving ballot papers from Tuesday, which will ask the single question: “should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” Voters will have until November 7 to return their forms, with a result due on November 15.
The challenge was brought by two groups: the first comprising Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, Shelley Argent from Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays; and Victorian mother of three Felicity Marlowe; and the second involving Australian Marriage Equality and Greens senator Janet Rice.