INDEPENDENT NEWS

Relationships Bill Delay A Kick In The Teeth

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2004 01:26 PM
Tue, 30 Nov 2004
Relationships Bill Delay A Kick In The Teeth
PrideAlliance is very concerned that the passing of the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill may be postponed. Without it, civil unions will be completely toothless, conferring no rights whatsoever on couples who enter in to a union.
Although we completely agree that the treatment of de facto relationships in the Bill was problematic, the response of the Select Committee is totally inappropriate. PrideAlliance argued in its submission on the Bill that all references to de facto relationships should be removed, in order to allow de facto relationships to be addressed independently at a later date.
"The amalgamation of de facto relationship and civil union recognition in to a single bill was always a mistake," said PrideAlliance spokesperson Kelly Buchanan. "The civil union aspect is completely straightforward, being a direct parallel of marriage and an essential companion to the Civil Union Bill. There is no justification for delaying that in response to problems with the de facto aspect, which can easily be dealt with in a separate bill."
Divorcing treatment of de facto relationships from the recognition of civil unions is also necessary to allow a level-headed examination of the issues. When combined, the de facto issue is thoroughly overshadowed by the irrational homophobic frenzy over civil unions.
References to de facto relationships in Schedule 2A of the Civil Union Bill should also be removed.
We urge the Justice and Electoral committee to recommend the removal of all references to de facto relationships when it meets to consider the Relationships Bill tomorrow.
ENDS

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