In a heartbreaking unanimous ruling Thursday, the Australian High Court declared that the Australian Capital Territory's marriage equality law, which took effect Saturday, is unconstitutional.
Twenty-seven same-sex couples have married under the law, in the territory that includes Canberra, the nation's capital, but their marriages will now be annulled, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reports.
The ACT legislature passed a marriage equality bill in October, making it the first Australian territory to embrace same-sex marriage, despite a federal law enacted in 2004 that declares marriages can only occur between one man and one woman, according to an earlier ABC report. The federal government of the commonwealth immediately filed suit in the nation's High Court, contending the ACT law was unconstitutional and in violation of the Federal Marriage Act.
The High Court declined to issue a ruling before Canberra's law took effect last weekend, allowing same-sex couples to legally marry. The court still has not released its full judgment, but it announced the general ruling Thursday to offer clarity for those hoping to take advantage of the law.
Click through the following pages to see photos of just a few of the same-sex couples who tied the knot in Canberra last weekend — but whose marriages are no longer valid, according to the High Court.