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Scotland’s Gay Rights Journey

Scotland’s Gay Rights Journey

On 4 February 2014, MSPs passed the SNP government’s Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill into law, 105 votes to 18.  Exemplifying the disunities of contemporary UK politics, the Scottish equal marriage debate has been largely insulated from the wider UK discussion.  But this debate, and the new legislation, differs in important respects from the [...]

Over to you, Parliament – The significance of the Australian High Court’s judgment on same-sex marriage

Over to you, Parliament – The significance of the Australian High Court’s judgment on same-sex marriage

A striking feature of Australian High Court jurisprudence in recent years is the Court’s use of orthodox judicial analysis to decide issues of deep political controversy and high significance for individual rights. This can be seen in the recent case of The Commonwealth v Australian Capital Territory (for further commentary on this case and its [...]

The Commonwealth v The Australian Capital Territory: Marriage Equality in the High Court

The Commonwealth v The Australian Capital Territory: Marriage Equality in the High Court

On Thursday the High Court of Australia effectively struck down the nation’s first same-sex marriage laws. But there was a silver lining for marriage equality activists: in striking down marriage laws passed by a territorial parliament, the High Court firmly indicated that it was within the constitutional power of the Australian national parliament to legislate [...]

Taking Conscience Seriously

Taking Conscience Seriously

Ladele (see previous posts) exemplifies an important public debate: has the embrace of gay equality by the liberal state become oppressive towards free conscience rights?   The legalization of gay marriage is troubling for many and the extension of anti-discrimination norms to cover sexual orientation may force many into painful dilemmas as to how they reconcile [...]

European Court of Human Rights Rules on Same-Sex Civil Partnerships

European Court of Human Rights Rules on Same-Sex Civil Partnerships

In the case of Vallianatos and Others v. Greece, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held that the legal recognition of different-sex civil partnerships to the exclusion of same-sex civil partnerships was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The applications were lodged by four different couples living in Greece. [...]

Wedding Crashers in Canberra?

Wedding Crashers in Canberra?

The Australian Capital Territory made Australian history this week as the first Australian jurisdiction to provide for same-sex marriage. The ACT, Australia’s equivalent of the US District of Columbia, first announced plans to legislate on marriage equality in September, and the first marriages under the laws could take place later this year. But there is [...]

Is it Time for the US Supreme Court to Come Out of the Closet?

Is it Time for the US Supreme Court to Come Out of the Closet?

In a follow-up post to his previous analysis of Windsor v. United States, Karl Laird examines which constitutional provisions were invoked in the US Supreme Court decision. Now that a few weeks have passed since the US Supreme Court delivered judgment in Windsor v United States, it seems appropriate to attempt to ascertain what exactly [...]

The Questions Raised by Striking Down DOMA

The Questions Raised by Striking Down DOMA

In light of the release of Windsor v the United States, Karl Laird analyzes the US Supreme Court’s reasoning, noting the Court still avoids the hard questions.   It took Justice Anthony Kennedy just 26 pages to give Edie Windsor what she had fought for since the death of her beloved wife Thea; the federal recognition [...]

Equality v Human Rights?: Same sex marriage and religious liberty

Equality v Human Rights?: Same sex marriage and religious liberty

This is an edited transcript of an address given by Aidan O’Neill QC on Thursday 13 June 2013, at Matrix Chambers on ‘Same Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty’ Some 50 years ago, in the wake of the publication in 1957 of the Wolfenden report which advocated a decriminalization of same sex sexual acts, a public [...]

Same Sex Marriage: Scaremongering and Sacrilege

Same Sex Marriage: Scaremongering and Sacrilege

This is an edited transcript of an address given by Karon Monaghan QC on Thursday 13 June 2013, at Matrix Chambers on ‘Same Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty’ At stake in debates about same-sex marriage is not the right of persons holding firm religious beliefs to hold them or manifest them. What the deniers want, [...]

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A Quick Overview

Blog posts have been coming in thick and fast over the last month. To help you get up to speed, the editorial team has put together a quick summary of some of the major themes. Justice Verma Committee on Indian sexual violence laws The Justice Verma Committee submitted its report on the reform of India’s [...]