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Australia's top court Thursday struck down gay marriage in the nation's capital, ruling that parliament must decide on same-sex unions -- to the anguish of dozens who have wed under a landmark law. In a unanimous judgment scotching the Australian Capital Territory's new same-sex marriage law, the High Court ruled that only parliament -- not state and territory authorities -- had the power to decide who could wed. The ruling dashed the hopes of same-sex couples and campaigners who had banked on the ACT legislation paving the way to a national law permitting gay marriage, a decade after the federal government defined wedlock as strictly between a man and a woman. "In less than a week we've been married and we've been unmarried, at least on a legal level," a "devastated" Ivan Hinton told reporters, fighting back tears.
Nelson Mandela was given back to ordinary South Africans Thursday, who queued in their thousands from early morning to file past his open casket on a day of viewing reserved for the public. "My heart is so broken," said Anita Bodiba, 35, who arrived at the seat of government, the Union Buildings, at 4:30 am (0230 GMT) to join the long queue that had already formed. He is the one who united us here in South Africa -- white people, black people, Indian people," she said -- using the clan name by which the democracy icon is fondly known. On Wednesday, Mandela's distraught widow Graca Machel and other family members had been followed by presidents, royalty and other international figures in paying their last respects in the amphitheatre of the Union Buildings where the Nobel laureate lay in state.