MEDIA RELEASE- Jacqui Burke MLA
Member for Molonglo
Shadow Minister for Health, Housing and Disability Services
The Campaign for Civil Unions (CCU) condemns the decision of federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland to veto the proposed civil unions legislation in the Australian Capital Territory, resulting in today’s decision by the ACT government to withdraw its proposed Civil Partnerships Bill.
The Stanhope government was elected in 2004 on a platform of introducing civil unions for the gay and lesbian citizens of the ACT. The Campaign for Civil Unions applauds their courage in following through this far with their commitment, but is soundly disappointed that their efforts have now been thwarted by the federal government.
CCU spokesperson Rebecca Leighton stated "We are very disappointed that Attorney-General McClelland had decided to override the Civil Partnerships Bill should it have become law, resulting in its subsequent withdrawal."
"The stance of the Rudd government on the civil unions legislation reinforces the unequal status of the gay and lesbian community under Australian law, and sends the message that the Rudd government firmly believes that our relationships and our families are second-class."
"This decision by the federal government is a direct attack on the independence of the ACT and the ability of our elected representatives to govern according to the wishes of their constituents. Our government has an election mandate to introduce this bill, and it is a disgrace that our representatives can have their decisions overridden by a government which is only barely accountable to the people of the ACT."