The Marriage Equality Bill 2013 passed the territory's assembly, allowing any Australian couple -- regardless of where they live and their gender -- to marry in the territory, The Australian reported.
Last-minute amendments to the bill were added to increase its chances of passage and reduce the likelihood of a challenge in the High Court, the newspaper said. The legislation was amended to prevent transgender couples who don't identify as male or female to marry. The bill was also changed to operate independently of established federal marriage laws.
Regardless of the changes, a spokeswoman for Attorney General George Brandis said the federal government would challenge the law in a High Court.
In the meantime, the spokeswoman urged the territorial government not to implement the law.
"Irrespective of anyone's views on the desirability or otherwise of same-sex marriage, it is clearly in Australia's interests that there be nationally consistent marriage laws," the spokeswoman said. "It would be very distressing to individuals who may enter into a ceremony of marriage under the new [territorial] law, and to their families, to find that their marriages were invalid."
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