Aussies 'to block' gay unions

I think not
THE Federal Government will legislate against any attempts by the ACT to give gay couples the same rights as married couples, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said today.

Mr Ruddock said today the Government would investigate what it could do to block attempts by the ACT Labor Government to pass laws that would establish civil unions for homosexual couples.

The ACT legislation would allow those in a civil union the same rights as marriage in everything but name.

Under the constitution, the Commonwealth has responsibility for marriage and in 2004, with bipartisan support, the Federal Government legislated to effectively ban gay marriage.

Mr Ruddock said the Commonwealth was unhappy with the ACT's attempts to work around federal laws.

"Let me make it very clear, that will not satisfy the Commonwealth and we would include the introduction of legislation to prevent that from occurring," he said.

Mr Ruddock said he had written to ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope to warn him this would be the approach the Government would take if the ACT continued with its draft proposal.

"My understanding is that in their draft, they intend to confer this power upon marriage celebrants, and we are saying 'Think again'," he said.

The states and territories have the power to introduce civil unions which allow couples the same recognition as marriage.

"If they (states and territories) seek to portray civil unions as a marriage, in our view, that is quite inappropriate," Mr Ruddock said.

"It is quite misleading, it suggests to people who might be interested in civil union that what they have is a marriage, when in fact it is not."

Mr Stanhope said the ACT would push ahead in spite of the federal position.

"I have no intention of abandoning my commitment to the removal of discrimination within the ACT," he said.

"I think Mr Ruddock needs to asked what is his real concern about my commitment to remove discrimination and to show respect to same-sex relationships.

"And one has to pose the question of whether or not the real reason is there is no place in John Howard's Australia for homosexuals."

Opposition legal affairs spokeswoman Nicola Roxon said Mr Ruddock appeared to be seeking another distraction.

"He has indicated he is intending to override the ACT Civil Unions Bill, which is not even law in the ACT yet," she said.

"We really object to this process. It shows that the Howard Government is prepared not just to ride roughshod over the Senate but also over the states and territories.",00.html (external - login to view)
Same as the article on the cartoon of Indonesia's president....not all of us feel this way!

A newsreader on a popular fm radio show just recently 'married' his boyfriend of 13 years and everyone I spoke to was so happy about it! I know there are a lot of issues and reasons for wanting to block same-sex marriages......but in my own personal opinion, I dont see how they differ from normal marriages.
One of my best friends from school is gay, she got 'married' (had a ceremony) to her girlfriend about 10 years ago... I never had anything against it then or now, but I must admit it is harder to deal with finding out your friend is gay realizing at the same time it's not a totaly homogenous society.

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