UK
12/12/2013 11:22 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 06:38 GMT

Australian Overturns Gay Marriage Ruling, Now 27 Couples Have Their Nuptials Annulled

Almost 30 couples who married under Australia's new gay rights laws have had their weddings annulled after a shock law change.

In October, the Australian Capital Territory became the first part of the country to allow same-sex marriages.

But now Australia's high court has effectively nullified the weddings by saying the law change was never valid.

Some of the 27 couples who have already married declared their pride in what they had done and pledged to fight to overturn the ruling.

Alan Wright married his partner Joel Player just after midnight on Saturday.

gay marriage australia

Couples who have already married had their weddings dissolved

“I am now immensely proud to be part of a very unique, committed and courageous group of people, who — despite probably deep down knowing that it was going to be overturned ... still stood up and said 'no, we're going to do this',” he told The Independent.

The high court ruled that the ACT law was incompatible with federal legislation from 2004 which says marriage is between a man and a woman.

In a summary of its ruling, the court said the ACT act was to provide marriage for same-sex couples, not an alternative legally-recognised relationship, The Guardian reported.

It went on: “Accordingly the ACT act cannot operate concurrently with the federal act. Because the ACT act does not validly provide for the formation of same-sex marriages, its provisions about the rights of parties to such marriages and the dissolution of such marriages cannot have separate operation and are also of no effect.”

The Australian decision comes the day after India's supreme court declared gay sex illegal.