Australia: Preventing gay and lesbian couples from marrying in the ACT cost taxpayers over $800k

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The federal Government’s successful lawsuit against same-sex couples marrying in the ACT, has cost taxpayers over $800,000 (£435,000) in legal bills.

The cost comes as the Government successfully challenged the same-sex marriage law passed last year in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

As a consequence, the law was overturned, but a legislative hearing also heard on Monday that the ACT had also paid $500,000 ( ) in court costs to the Commonwealth Government.

It was also noted that bills for two non-government lawyers totalled $112,000 (£61,000) and other lawyers employed by the government cost $200,000 (£108,000).

The ACT Parliament passed a bill in October making the territory the first part of Australia to legalise equal marriage.

But the Federal Government challenged the decision, saying it was inconsistent with federal laws.

Because of that decision, the ACT was ordered to pay court costs to the federal government.

Only 31 couples were able to marry before the law was overturned.