29 March 2006

Same Sex Civil Union legislation to be introduced today [Yesterday]

| johnboy
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The Chief Minister has a media release out proclaiming that today he will introduce a Bill into the Assembly to create an institution of same-sex civil-union.

Mr Stanhope said feedback from the Government’s consultation process had indicated that many people would welcome the new laws. He was aware that some people would not welcome the move.

Now to someone like me this seems like a good compromise to end unfair discrimination against committed gay and lesbian couples while retaining “marriage” in its tradional sense.

But will this compromise actually satisfy either the pink triangle, or the old fashion poofter-haters in our society?

UPDATE: The SMH has picked up the story, via AAP.

FURTHER UPDATE: Liberal Bill Stefaniak is hearing his master’s voice (the catholic lobby) and has put out a media release in which he looks at reasons to oppose this without actually being brave enough to say he opposes it.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The Greens have weighed in calling Stanhope chicken for not going further, but mostly gibbering about their Tasmanian meltdown.

FURTHER UPDATE: A happy Chief Minister has put out another media release looking forward to the happy day his law comes into effect.

The Government expects the law to be passed in May, with the legislation commencing once the relevant administrative procedures and databases have been established. The procedure for entering into a civil union will require that a couple gives a month’s notice of its intention to an authorised celebrant. This means that the first unions to be formalised under the new law could take place as early as the middle of the year.

Once More With Feeling: The Canberra Times has come to the party pointing out that gay couples (or indeed anyone else) will be able to get a civil union at a younger age than a wedding. Interestingly the CT and Markus Mannheim are running hard with the Australian Christian Lobby’s angle.

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The followup was a concession to freedom of speech AD.

Absent Diane8:52 am 31 Mar 06

No random I think you had it right the first time…

I think, as has been pointed out, it’s about poking the feds (pun intended).

It’s been well established on RiotACT for some time that Stanhopes’ political focus is far and away from this city and its’ city needs.

Vic Bitterman11:29 pm 30 Mar 06

Nothing harsh about it RandomGit.

You’ve gotta wonder though, when will stanhope decide to start applying decent governance to this town and not concentrate on fluffy shit like legalised gay unions?

That was a tad harsh and I apologise.

Just flush your head in toilet a couple of times instead.

Fuck away off and die Vic.

Vic Bitterman8:29 pm 29 Mar 06

Geezuz the fags will be happy.

Onya stanhope. Yet another reason to never vote labor.

I only believe in gay marriage when both chicks are hot.

If it gets through I predict a tourism bonanza!!

If you are a gay couple, and you feel that a civil union would be a “jackboot”, then you don’t have to go through with it. Just like a straight couple.

However, if you would like formal legal recognition of your union, you now can. Just like a straight couple.

That’s all it is. It’s just giving a significant minority of the population parity with the rest.

The world will keep on turning.

an individuals perversions are their own business.

despite the fact that every society since we came out of the trees has condemned homosexual behaviour and enacted various ways to ban it, it continues.

and frankly good luck to them.

the bigger issue is – why do people feel the need for a church or state to recognise their union at all?

its between you and your significant other.

why let the gummint or vatican jackboot over you ?

Seems a little odd on the face of it…if you’re Jim Wallace and are terrified that civil unions are going to turn Canberra into a modern Sodom or Gomorrah.

The civil union thing is different to marriage. Marriage can have a religious angle, as well as a legal one. A civil union excludes any religious elements. I’d say they’re fundamentally different things.

How much difference is this going to make, anyway? What percentage of 16 year olds (of any persuasion) are going to want to get married? I can’t see the kiddies lining up outside the registry office…

These new arrangements seem to be the right way to go. They afford same-sex couples suitable protections under law where previously they were discriminated against by the peculiar legal intervention of religion into secular law-making and promote marriage truly as a ‘union between man and woman before god’. So if you’re not religiously minded or simply want to settle down with a member of the same sex you can have a civil arrangement that lets you have a proper will, provides your partner to access to superannuation or life insurance in the case of your demise and allows you to grant power of attorney to a loved one. If you’re worried about going to hell, or being left out of grandmas will because you didn’t have a ‘church wedding’ and you don’t mind your partner having to be of the opposite sex, then it’s marriage for you.

I think what the extreme-right hate-mongers are really scared of is people voting with their feet. Something like this has the potential to go a long way towards revealing just how small the extremist constituency really is – blowing away the old ‘silent majority’ crap that extremists like Fielding and his ilk like to trot out.

And as for same-sex unions undermining the institution of marriage … give me a break … do they really believe that marriage as an institution is that fragile?

Che – I’m sure the fed AG would be interested in the answer to that question…talking about rights and all.

why can you get a civil union at a younger age than marriage?

To answer a paticular question:

1990, 1995, 1996.

The 1995 event was the most educational.

I have loosely followed the events in other years however, as my birthday falls during the Mardi Gras week, so has become a bit of a personal landmark point.

Absent Diane9:46 am 29 Mar 06

Hedonism – I have to say WTF – Are you some religious kook that lives by the old testament

Maria, that has to be one of the biggest cop-out’s I’ve ever read, Areaman had more valid points re the comparison to summernats and NYE on Bondi.

To which I’ll answer; If and when they get caught, they’ll go down to the station and get processed, if they are lucky, they might get a stern warning, if they are extremely lucky, they might get away with it.

Which was my point several posts ago…

I’m getting tired of all the PC politicians jumping in on the debate anyway since it seems to be the latest bandwagon to jump on, so I’ll drop it.


The problem I have with some aspects of Mardi Gras seems to be the full on celebration of hedonism rather than anyone’s sexual preference and that it is almost un-PC to question the hedonism that underlines the modern day Mardi Gras because it happens to be a Gay event.

What a god awful load of bottom burping.

The issue is simply one of equality for gays and lesbians; to have the same legal status (property rights for instance) in their relationship as “married” couples.

Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the same rights.

And yes, I’m straight and proud. Proud of my sexuality and proud of friends who are different yet exactly the same.

Yes, I have seen people rooting on floats. Do you consider that John bumming Jim on a Mardi Gras float decent ? Do you consider Mary humping Margaret with a 10in dildo decent ?

No more or less than John humping Mary at at NYE on Bondi or some of the shit that goes on at summernats. Just like those events people can get a bit out of control, but going into it people know that stuff is going to happen and if you’re going to be offended, just don’t go.

Hey Mael, which mardi gras did you find indecent? The first one you attended? Or the second, third, fourth ….?

where in the ACT would I find this Oxford street in Sydney?

actually i’ve been to oxford street in sydney and can’t say i saw anything untoward at 2am on a Saturday night unless you count the drag show which was going on INSIDE the bar I was at, and even that didn’t involve nudity.

As for what turns you on?

I was commenting as to what turns ME on. You want me to punch myself up for that? Kinky!

Absent Diane5:35 pm 28 Mar 06

I have to agree with Mael… I have had even gay friends say they were completely disturbed by the sexual going ons at mardi gras…

Areaman, I have attended a few Mardi Gras events, and I assure you things can get quite ‘raw’. While my commentary was rather descriptive, and seemingly irrelevant, I was attempting to construct a link between public decency and protest.

I’m not that surprised that you of all people didn’t understand, since you’re a tool, although I am rather amazed that you think the Mardi Gras is all white pants, bras and fruit inspired headwear.

Yes, I have seen people rooting on floats. Do you consider that John bumming Jim on a Mardi Gras float decent ? Do you consider Mary humping Margaret with a 10in dildo decent ?

If I decide I want to roger my wife like a fertile rabbit, I have to wait until I get home, behind closed doors, behind closed curtains to be completely within the constraints of public decency. Outside those conditions, I do so at my own risk of having somebody take offence, make a complaint, and next thing I know I’ve got somebody knocking on my door asking me to come down to the station for an explanatory interview.

As does anyone, but that’s not what (to the best of my knowledge having watched it a couple of times on TV) happens at Mardi Gras, and the fact that you’re comparing them shows you have even less knowledge on the subject than I do.

JB shoot yourself after giving yourself several uppercuts man.

Lesbians take 2 otherwise single girls out of the pool of avaliable women, thereby increasing competition.

This misnomer of males liking to watch 2 females snogging etc really amazes me sometimes. All I consider in that situation is that 3 blokes now have to compete for 1 bird, not a good thing.

Certainly doesn’t get me horny, kinda like sports – I can’t watch, I’d rather play.

Anytime you want to view public lewdness, at any hour of the day, check out Oxford street in Sydney. I’m sure you’ll see something untoward going on.

Closer to home, I’m unaware of any regular localities although you might get lucky going past the ‘gay only’ bar every now and again.

Absent Diane5:22 pm 28 Mar 06

I see it all -all the time and its rather boring….

– An unmarried, but cohabiting straight white guy with over priced rent

Yeah, I’m missing the action too and am feeling quite miffed.

160K shab. Married with 2.3 actually. White and untested to boot.

personally i quite like seeing girls having a snog and encourage it.

but i dunno if i’m hanging out in the wrong places?

This epidemic of public lewdness seems to have passed me by. And it’s being committed by gays and lesbians seeking to get married you say?

Well Duh.

I’m glad that you agree with me that the legislation to allow same sex relationships is a good thing.

You can now get your relationship FULLY and LEGALLY recognised. Go fill your boots.

I’m sure that you will continue to agree with me then, that displays of lewd conduct – regardless of by whom, is rather revolting and inappropriate really, and the powers that be should be given the authority and the means to move it on. This of course includes now, publicly displaying yourself in an inappropriate manner in protest that your union is not recognised (because it now is).

You didn’t compare the size of your mortgage, RG.

Get the hell off wage-slave turf, ‘fore I cuts you.

Now everybody unchill and get back to the witty slagging

-An unmarried dog named Sir Whinealot.

Everybody chill!

Gay marriage and lewd behaviour in public are two separate issues. I might even argue that they’re diametrically opposed. Shall we divorce (ahem) them for the purpose of this article?

Good on Stanhope for getting this bit ‘o paper up in the assembly.

– An unmarried, but cohabiting straight white guy with a 250K mortgage.

Maelinar – gosh what an angry self-righteous overly-defensive (don’t like getting your bottom smacked for saying the wrong thing?) “married, middleclass white person with a $300k mortgage” you are.

I am all of those attributes (within quotation marks) except “married”. Why is that – because I am expressly not permitted to under federal law because I am a female who has a female partner. This is despite the fact we have been together for a number of years, are monogamous, and for the record share our $300 mortgage. I’m not being a “pariah” either, all I want is my relationship FULLY and LEGALLY recognised so my partner and I have the legal protection and obligations which you enjoy as a matter of course. This government does something progressive to get that happening – and you just ridicule it because it’s not relevant to you. So yes that DOES say a lot about you.

It’s not about, as you so crudely put it, ‘rogering’ anyone or lewd conduct, it’s about recognition of committed relationships through civil unions – yet you resort to generalisations and stereotypes. And by doing so you reveal yourself as ignorant, uneducated and uncouth.

Ergo it is you who is unimportant in the grand scheme of things.


Onya Mael – I too am sick to death of being told that “I’m the one with the problem” and that I’m a homophobe every time I get my back up because some elemnets of the G&L community think of themselves as pariah’s. IMHO the only peole who think of them the G&L community as Pariah’s are elements of the G&L community.

I think Mael’s initial comment was founded in that a seemingly larger proportion of the G&L community act indecently in public – not everyone, and generally not the more mature crowd.

Now – IMHO – acting indecently is an act of idiocy whether you’re gay or straight – so why can’t we call an idiot a idiot anymore? Because they happen to be gay? Being gay is incidental to whether you’re a idiot (or act like a idiot) or not.

Now this article is not about who’s an idiot or who is a homophobe – it’s about recognising same sex unions. yay – more power – good on you – I’m genuinely pleased for you all.

Now Sonic needs to pull his finger out and start running the city.

Note that all the “idiots” that appeared in the above were drafted as “fuckwits”, however I didn’t want overuse of an indecent term to cloud my meaning. Rest assured, however, that the sentiment remains.

I thought about it for a moment, and – well get fucked really.

If I decide I want to roger my wife like a fertile rabbit, I have to wait until I get home, behind closed doors, behind closed curtains to be completely within the constraints of public decency. Outside those conditions, I do so at my own risk of having somebody take offence, make a complaint, and next thing I know I’ve got somebody knocking on my door asking me to come down to the station for an explanatory interview. (Although this has never occured to me).

Allow me to continue; running around half naked, carrying on like – well a gay person really, is not normal either.

Allowing me to continue; Even though I’m not saying that YOU personally do these actions, it is certainly a recognisable steriotype. I’ll forward all of your denials to the Sydney Mardi Gras committee for rebuttal. You may also remember that the Canberra G&L brigade wanted to have their own little pseudo mardi gras here in Canberra as well, although I am unaware if it ever went ahead at all, or they decided to brave that scary, windy 3 hour trip to Sydney instead.

Now let’s get back to what I said; like everybody else seems to be able to manage, I don’t care.

Perhaps now we might be able to see enforcement against anti-social behaviour such as public indecency, as the reason for protest has been removed.

Turn off your “I’m gay and everybody is out to get me” blinkers for one second and you might realise that my commentary was actually about equalising rights.

As it stands, I can handle a few gay people getting up to lewd conduct as a demonstration of the inequality of the situation, but there ain’t any inequality any more is there ?

You’ve probably got more rights as a gay person than I do as a married, middleclass white person with a $300k mortgage. Get over yourself, you’re not important.

A different perspective on this issue can be found at Canberra blogger AlanZoe Brain’s site.

Apparently Stanhope’s Government is less flexible regarding Zoe’s transsexual status than the big, bad conservatives up on the hill.

I was just down at the Assembly to see the tabling of the legislation and hear Stanhope’s speech. It was a great occasion and myself and the others there who witnessed it applauded Stanhope.

Regarding some of the comments here in this forum – this historical event may not mean much to some people, perhaps you already have the right to marry and your relationship is fully recognised by Federal and State/Territory governments, but for myself this is a big step in the right direction and maybe you think it’s not as important as beautifying Civic West or approving a dragway but for others, such as myself, it is momumentous. Your dismissive comments in particular, Maelinar, are far more a reflection of yourself (you might want to think about that a moment) than a true statement about the ‘gay crowd’.

Well when he puts our a media release about roads we all yawn and can’t be arsed covering it.

So us facile meeja are as much to blame as the big cahuna.

barking toad11:35 am 28 Mar 06

Bio Reserve – that’s the one. The fuck?

And yeah, the mayor can make law about gay unions, but I think the punters would prefer some other issues higher on the agenda.

Are you referring to the ABC story on Bio-reserves?

I ignored it because it made no sense.

to be fair to Mr. Stanhope this is an issue the ACT can make law for so it’s within his purview.

barking toad11:01 am 28 Mar 06

These are the sorts of issues that excite the mayor – he’s not interested in running the town and looking after the locals. International statesmen don’t get involved at that trivial level.

And, speaking of gay things, what the fark is this hippie agenda that jimmy gentleman is heading up that involves the ACT and that pillar of international strength the United Nations? Can’t find it on the crimes excuse for a website but I caught some of it on radio samuel this morning. He sounded embarassed about it.

Bring it on says I.

As long as they can keep their willies in their pants, like everybody else seems to be able to manage, I don’t care.

Perhaps now we might be able to see enforcement against anti-social behaviour such as public indecency, as the reason for protest has been removed.

Although I’m sure the gay crowd will find a new reason to make a song and dance about, since carrying on like a dandy with a loudspeaker seems to be normalised standard practice.

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