"But the high court has done remarkable work. It went out of its way to declare that that there are no historical, religious or constitutional barriers to same-sex marriage in Australia. The way is open so long as the law is national.
Theirs is not the language of equal marriage advocates, but the judges unanimously declared that in 2013 old notions of Christian matrimony don’t decide the meaning of marriage in the Australian constitution.
“Marriage law is and must be recognised now to be more complex,” they said. “Some jurisdictions outside Australia permit polygamy. Some jurisdictions outside Australia, in a variety of constitutional settings, now permit marriage between same-sex couples.
“These facts cannot be ignored or hidden. It is not now possible [if it ever was] to decide what the juristic concept of marriage includes by confining attention to the marriage law of only those countries which provide for forms of marriage which accord with a preconceived notion of what marriage ‘should’ be.”
Small victory in an otherwise disappointing decision. I have no doubt though that campaigners for marriage equality will be shown to be on the right side of history in the end.