The marriage equality postal vote is before the High Court today. But what does this mean?
If the High Court determines that the federal government didn’t have the right to order a postal vote, it may lead to the postal vote not going ahead.
Two groups in the High Court are challenging the vote today.
The first group is led by Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and Melbourne mother Felicity Marlowe.
The second group involves same-sex marriage advocates Australian Marriage Equality (AME) and Greens senator Janet Rice.
The High Court will also be looking into the funding for the postal vote. The opponents will argue that $122 million that will be used to fund the postal vote will come from a contingency fund used for emergencies.
Solicitor- General Stephen Donaghue will argue that Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is allowed to allocate the funds from the contingency fund.
The survey will be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and will ask Australians “whether or not the law should be changed to allow same sex couples to marry”.
It will be argued today that the head of statistics from the ABS doesn’t have the authority to ask this question due to it asking peoples’ opinions rather than just collecting statistics.
It will also be argued that because this is an opinion poll and not an electoral matter the Australian Electoral Commission shouldn’t be allowed to share the electoral roll details with the ABS.
The High Court is under no time constraints with this matter. The ABS wants to start mailing the vote from September 12th. This would add pressure on the High Court to make a quick decision.
Listen to AFTRThought from 5:30 for more information on this matter.