The Federal Government yesterday agreed to expedite plans to remove discrimination against gay couples in about 100 federal laws, securing backing in principle from the Opposition.
But the announcement revived the long-running battle over civil unions. ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said it was inadequate to leave some discriminatory laws in place.
“Removing discrimination cannot be done in a piecemeal manner — removing discrimination means removing discrimination full stop.”
But ahead of intense talks between the ACT and the Federal Government over the next two days, federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland was yesterday unmoved on the sticking point of allowing gay couples to hold official ceremonies.
“While we support a system of registration of same-sex relationships, we don’t support an arrangement that mimics marriage,” he said.
This is an occasion when I am in agreement with the position held by Brother Number One’s government on an issue. I have always maintained that I support a relationship register (on the Tasmanian model) but that I oppose the notion of same sex marriage.
The effect of the government’s reforms will be to provide same sex couples relief from the 100 discriminations that they have previously had to suffer and frankly I think that they should be well pleased that most members of the parliament, and by extension most people support this. I notice that some of the usual suspects are whining that this reforms do not go far enough. The country as a whole quite rightly still considers that the primary purpose of marriage is for the creation and nurture of children and as that is not what homosexual unions are about. I think that these serial whiners should lighten up and, like the rest of us, accept that this is a good outcome for everybody.