We should go to referendum to decide gay marriage law

IF the gay rights lobby believes the vast majority of Australians support same-sex marriage equality, it should have no problem with putting the issue to a referendum.

Changing the definition of marriage should not be a decision made just by politicians, it should be a decision for the nation.

No one should be surprised by the decision of the High Court to overturn the ACT's bungled attempt to usurp the Commonwealth's powers when it comes to what is a national law.

The court decided unanimously that the Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 cannot operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act 1961.

It is up to the federal government to legislate to allow same sex marriage.

That is very unlikely given the government's position.

While times have definitely changed since 1961, same-sex marriage remains a divisive issue, even in modern Australia.

There are those that argue that marriage, as recognised by the church, should be kept separate from a civil union.

Others argue that denying same-sex couples the right to be married, in the manner they choose, is the denial of a fundamental human right.

Regardless of your viewpoint, we would argue the best way to settle the matter is to go to the people for a majority decision.

Mark Furler is APN'Australian Regional Media's Group Digital Editor. The views expressed here are his own.