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Same-sex bills deserve speedy support.

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Thursday 25 September 2008

Same-sex bills deserve speedy support

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has urged the Coalition to be cooperative and support equality for same-sex couples, as the Family Law Amendment (Financial Matters and Other Measures) Bill 2008 comes before the Senate today.

“The quickest and easiest thing for the Coalition to do today is to vote for this Bill, allowing it to go through, and therefore pave the way for same-sex couples to be recognised in federal law,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young said it was disappointing that Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull was not in his chamber for yesterday’s debate of the Same-Sex Omnibus Bill, and called on him to stand up and show his support for equal rights.

“The Greens last week welcomed Mr Turnbull as the new leader of the Opposition, well aware of his record of support for gay rights,” she said.

“This is a perfect opportunity for him to demonstrate strong leadership, and make his position known on whether or not he supports this package of reforms.”

Senator Hanson-Young said same-sex law reform was long overdue, and it was time for the parliament to catch up with public support for same-sex discrimination to be removed from Australian law.

“It’s nearly two whole decades since ‘sexual preference’ was added as an additional ground for discrimination under the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Regulations,” she said.

“We are talking about an issue of human rights and social justice here, and the Greens have been at the forefront of calls for greater equality for all couples, regardless of their sexuality or gender.

“All sides of politics should be ready to support the speedy passage of these Bills into law, and grant those in same-sex relationships the rights they deserve.”

For more information: Gemma Clark on 0427 604 760