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Opposition gives qualified support.



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AM

 

Wedne sday 30 April 2008

Opposition gives qualified support

 

TONY EASTLEY: The Opposition says it supports the changes to the same sex laws in principle.  

 

But the Opposition leader Dr Brendan Nelson says the party won't budge on gay marriage, adoption and IVF.  

 

Dr Nelson spoke to AM's Jane Cowan in Canberra.  

 

BRENDAN NELSON: Well as a matter of principle we believe that no Australian should pay a dollar more in tax or receive a dollar less in social security support, by virtue of their sexuality. 

 

Whilst we will steadfastly oppose gay marriage, gay adoption and gay IVF, we will carefully scrutinise the proposals that are being put up by the Government. And if they are affordable and reasonable, we will certainly be providing support to them. 

 

JANE COWAN: How confident are you of winning the formal support of your colleagues on this? 

 

BRENDAN NELSON: Well I've already made it very clear from the day of my election as leader, that one of the things that is very important to us as Liberals and National Party MPs, is that we will not under any circumstances support gay marriage, civil unions, gay adoption or gay IVF. 

 

However, we must live in a country where you do not pay a dollar more in tax nor receive a dollar less in support from your country and welfare, by virtue of your sexuality. 

 

We will carefully examine the proposals that are being put up by the Government. And if they are affordable and if they are reasonably achievable, then they will enjoy our support.  

 

JANE COWAN: The National senator Barnaby Joyce though, has already said he hasn't made up his mind on this issue, is there much disquiet within the Party on this? 

 

BRENDAN NELSON: Well I can only say to you again, that as far as I am concerned, as the leader of the Opposition, that we will not under any circumstances support gay marriage, or civil union… 

 

JANE COWAN: But beyond that, much disquiet? 

 

BRENDAN NELSON: Well, let's just have a look at what the Government is proposing; let's have a look at the detail that is a matter of principle.  

 

The economic injustices that are faced by same sex people in this country need to be addressed, but we will not support gay marriage, gay IVF or gay adoption.  

 

But you must not, we must not have in Australia where by virtue of your sexuality you pay a dollar more in tax or receive a dollar less in support.  

 

And we will examine the proposals in detail, we will make sure that they are affordable and that they are reasonable.  

 

JANE COWAN: Is there any chance this could come down to a conscience vote for the Coalition?  

 

BRENDAN NELSON: This will be a matter that will be considered by my colleagues, but this is a matter that will have a party position, as far as the Liberal party is concerned.  

 

TONY EASTLEY: The Opposition leader Brendan Nelson
, speaking there with Jane Cowan.