Postal survey on same-sex marriage ‘unique and offensive’, high court told

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has no authority to hold the Coalition’s “unique and offensive” postal vote on same-sex marriage, lawyers have told the high court on the first day of a landmark legal challenge.

Barristers for critics of the vote, who are seeking to have it ruled illegal, argued their case before a packed courtroom in Melbourne headed by the chief justice, Susan Kiefel. The court’s verdict will determine whether the vote can go ahead, and could pave the way for a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage if it rules against the government.

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