The NSW premier has called for an inquiry into same-sex marriage legislation in the state.
The announcement follows the establishment of a cross-party working group which is already investigating introducing same-sex marriage legislation into the NSW Parliament.
The separate inquiry will examine questions around the constitutionality of a state gay marriage law and whether it would survive legal challenges in the High Court, according to the government’s Upper House leader Mike Gallagher.
“The premier has recognised that there are significant issues to be considered and has therefore decided to refer this matter to the social issues committee for consideration,” Gallagher said in Parliament last week.
The inquiry will also look at how the laws would hold up if couples moved interstate and how marriages would be dissolved in the event of divorce.
The cross-party working group, which includes members of all the major parties, released a statement last week saying they were reaching a point where they would be ready to present a draft bill for consultation.
“The bill is currently being drafted and is expected to be ready for further consultation with stakeholders early in the new year,” the group said in a statement.
The group, which recently added newly elected independent MP Alex Greenwich to its ranks, said the bill would go before the Upper House first once it was drafted.
“The working group has decided that the Upper House is the best starting point for the bill,” they said in the statement.
“All three Upper House members of the working group, Trevor Khan MLC, Penny Sharpe MLC and Cate Faehrmann MLC, have given notice of the same bill.”
It remains unclear what impact the inquiry announced by the premier will have on the group’s bill however, as it seems to be a completely separate process.
Earlier this year the Tasmanian Upper House narrowly voted to reject a bill legalising same-sex marriage because of concerns any law would be struck down by the High Court.