5 December 2005

Chief Minister to announce same-sex relationship scheme

| Jey
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In follow up to the ACT Government’s request for submissions for the same-sex relationship scheme discussion paper, the Chief Minister will be formally announcing the ACT Government’s relationships recognition scheme today.

Details are:
Attending: ACT Chief Minister
Media Conference: Friday 2 December 2005
Time: 12.30 pm
Location: ACT Legislative Assembly (ground floor, just inside the public entrance)

This is an open media conference and everyone is encouraged to attend.
This announcement is craftily coinciding with the end of the Canberra Pride Festival SpringOut (website down at time of posting, but it was working yesterday). The Chief Minister received a Pride Award at the SpringOut Fairday.

Good Process will be having celebration drinks – from 6pm at ScreenSound (Pride Awards 6:30pm, Movie 7:30pm).

Unfortunately I’m unable to attend the announcement but will try and post a follow up Saturday morning. If someone else wants to post it beforehand feel free.

UPDATE: The ACT Government is in the process of drawing up legislation for civil unions.
These unions will entitle all couples, not just same-sex couples, the same rights afforded to married couples under ACT law.

The press release and a fact sheet on civil unions can be found here.

OddlyGood Process is yet to put out a press release, maybe they’re too busy celebrating.

I would’ve updated sooner, as promised, but the RiotACT was down for me since that delightful apocalyptic storm on Friday arvo.

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ugh…better do it properly…

It seems everyone caught up on the jist of the announcement so I won’t post it.
I dunno about anyone else but RiotACT was down for me since Friday arvo, otherwise I would’ve posted it as promised.
If you don’t know the deets of the announcement check it out here.

I’d like to reiterate that this legislation will recognise all couples, not just same-sex couples.
It will give them the rights of married couples under ACT law.
While it won’t help Federally, I see it as a positive step forward.

Absent Diane4:11 pm 02 Dec 05

isnt it amazing the rubbish that comes out when one bends over…

Absent Diane4:10 pm 02 Dec 05

The best fix would be to let the world go into a state of chaos for a bit (bring on dec 2012)… then start again with everything… nothing like a clean slate… get rid of any archaic law that muddys things up… and make everyone equal from the begining.. only through chaos can we understand the necessity for structure… on top of which only through a chaotic state can we wipe the slate clean and start again

ahh how the misrepresentation begins.

Fill your boots describing how inept the Army are at achieving anything, I’ll be able to back you up any day. My comment was in relation to their thorough and rigourous planning.

Bend your thinking caps in that direction chaps. Anyhoo, tally-ho, I’m off to the Durham for a tiny pint or 5 of lager, with Thumper, and NTP if he’s still coming.

“The world I come from saw battles where human life was a mere number on a piece of paper, yet over six months planning would go into a single charge to take a single trench of the enemy.”

…In which thousands of better men than you and I died ignominious deaths at the hands of barbed wire, artillery and machineguns as a result of horrifically underestimating the practicalities of such an attack, and nightmarishly poor strategy. The armed forces do not have the mortgage on planning. Nor do they have the mortgage on getting it right. I mean no disrespect to our armed forces here – but like our politicians, the army fucks things up with monotonous regularity.

Although, that said, if Mr Corbell was my Brigade commander, I’d be the first to desert.

be careful associating maelinar and arses.

he is sensitive in that area. piles i believe.

Just beacuse you feel the need to whinge on and on Maelinar, and because you feel that your personal concerns aren’t being taken on board does not mean that the Government doesn’t consult on issues, and take public consultation into account. There was over 400 submissions in response to the ACT Governments white paper on this issue…. did you put in a response? I doubt it, content as you are to whinge extensive after the fact and complain when others try to actually get off their asses and do something.

wow Maelinar you really love your planning (btw the 6 months planning to take a trench really did nothing but kill more people, rigid planning sounds good to me), i suppose the recent federal legislation is appropriately planned for you then

I come from a world where everything, and I mean everything was meticulously considered, and planned.

No model is flawless, but flaws can be catered for. Such as people in public housing reaching the fiscal stage where they can, and should, get their own house.

Strictly an omission that should have been catered for in the first place, had proper time and thought gone into the issue.

The world I come from saw battles where human life was a mere number on a piece of paper, yet over six months planning would go into a single charge to take a single trench of the enemy.

*disclaimer* – this is not a representation of the Army today

That however, is the precise planning, full thought, exacting planning that our governments are being paid, quite frankly, top dollar to provide.

From what I’ve seen, this is not the case. Nor am I paticularly expectant of a radical swing in the immediate future.

I only need to look around at the Ainslie development fiasco, Ginninderra High, the bus experiment, the airport, the complete lack of process in all the multi storey developments going up everywhere, and the infamous call in powers to be satisfied of my own decision.

I fail to see how a government more famous for ignoring it’s people’s concerns than heeding them can accomplish a complete integration of relationships, even within our small community, based upon this history of error.

I suppose we’ll all just have to wait and see, since they’re going to ignore us and do their own thing anyway…

No – actually, expediency pretty much always has to be the rule of the day.

Ahh – touche, Maelinar. A nice, neat approach that (if you could get if off the ground) would probably work nicely. However, given the likelihood (sp?) of the ACT and the Feds agreeing on anything at the moment (or in the foreseeable future) is approximately equal to Fred Nile marching in the Sydney Mardi Gras, I’d say it’s the best we’ve got.

Back in political reality land – at least it gives the people in this situation a little more say in each other’s lives…even if all they get is the right to access each other’s super and switch of the life support.

Yeah – it’s piecemeal, only addresses part of the issue, and will probably collapse under a really concerted legal challenge; but it’ll have to do for the time being. Maybe one day the states/territories and the feds will be able to work together, and actually govern rather than bicker, but we need to do something in the interim.

You can’t sit around waiting for conditions to be ideal to do everything. Nothing would ever get done. Sometimes expediency has to be the rule of the day.

Absent Diane2:55 pm 02 Dec 05

I can appreciate your cynicism mael….but do you seriously think that any government at any time can develop a flawless model for anything…. everything is a sticky tape solution… there is always gonna be money wasted on all kinds of things…

I think the kids issue should be a means test… but for all couples… hetro/homo/vego what ever… if you eradicate people who who have a higher chance of being bad parents then you are reeducing the chance of having bad kids… cloning is the best solution though…

I’d work on the legislation, on a state and federal level. Once the product was finished, I’d present the national approach to the issue, and be open to discussion and change, although it would be so perfect that anybody who complained would be exposing themselves as the welfare-fraud they are.

That said, I would take great lengths to ensure that it was perfect before releasing it.

Once everybody had a reasonable amount of time to discuss the issues, I would reassess the legislation and make the hard decisions. I would announce the hard decisions, and set the implementation date.

I would then work, from the top down, to ensure that the coal face had the appropriate support to be able to deflect any negative crap from the abuse-the-welfare-system-if-it-doesnt-do-what-I-want-it-to crowd.

As a number of individuals commenting on this announcement appeared not to understand what the announcement was about – and merely used it as an opporunity to launch into diatribes about unrelated topics, I thought it might be useful to include some relevant information:

Q. What is a civil union?

A. Civil union allows a couple to establish a domestic partnership by making a formal declaration of their intention to be domestic partners before the Registrar-General or an authorised celebrant.

Q. How does a civil union differ from marriage, or registration?

A. Civil union is a completely new option that can be used by anyone, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender. It will provide heterosexual and homosexual couples functional equality under ACT law. Note: not under federal law.

If you want to change anything, it costs money. As I said – I think it’s necessary, ergo, I’ve got no problem spending the money. As for the associated fanfare, people need to be informed when things change. The amount of fanfare involved is probably not necassary – but as I stated earlier – I think there are waaaay bigger wastes of money going around that are worth getting more bent out of shape over.

If you’re right, Maelinar, and they cock it up, necessitating another bloody round of consultation…okay, I’m right there with you in the queue for a refund.

However – what’s so wrong with the change that it’s going to require re-doing? It’s not that big a change for most of the great unwashed. How would you do it better? I’m all ears.


So how much will this paper cost to produce ?
What about the ramifications ?
– such as the gay vilification march,
– the lectures, the speeches, the venues to get the message across
– the advertising, the bloody well rock concert.

And the crux of my issue…

How much will it cost to do the same fucking thing this time next year because this fucking one didn’t work because this government couldn’t tear their way out of a wet paper bag ?

All I have been saying all along, is they need to fix the issue once and for all. If they don’t, then I’ll be eagerly awaiting my refund of money.

“The government wasting time, resources and money on bs like this crap is the same supposed wasted money I’m going on about.”

Ahh now Maelinar – therein lies the game. IMHO it ain’t crap. I think that it’s a neccesary and overdue (if overblown), legislative change. Not like this one’s cost squillions of dollars anyway – there’s some far more expensive and unrepresentative bollocks flying out of the offices of Stanhope et al I’d prefer to rail against. Guess I’ll just have to agree to disagree with you on that one.

Both sides will harp on; either that it’s a long overdue triumph for gay rights/more evidence that fags are taking over the world, but all it’s doing is bringing gay and lesbian relationships in line with the rest of the community. Where’s the harm? Equality doesn’t cost jack.

As for the should “they” be able to have kids side of the issue – I’m staying the hell away from that. It’s a matter for people better informed than I…

FGS Maelinar the amount of money used is like worrying about were I put the 5c from the shopping money, Get perspective, if you wish to complain about waste there are a lot better ones to vent your spleen on.
By the way well said Johnboy

barking toad1:52 pm 02 Dec 05

Thank you Maelinar for saving me the trouble of responding to JB’s comments. My point was that just because some gays decide to become a couple doesn’t give them the right to procreate – they haven’t got the plumbing to start with and they shouldn’t be allowed to get round this by other means. Bloke/bloke or sheila/sheila ain’t the right way to bring up kids imho. That’s not to deny that there are plenty of bloke/sheila situations where one or both should be compulsorily de-sexed because they are/will be shit parents – but that’s a discussion for some other time.

I note that South Africa’s highest court has ruled that the govt must amend the Marriage Act over there to recognise same sex couples. No doubt the mayor will latch onto that instead of fixing the potholes.

btw, I hope you don’t mind me plagiarising your stamp licking/tunnelling in future rants against gays becoming parents

Where is all the supposed wasted money, Maelinar? No, I’m not hacking out on you, I just don’t see the problem. The gubbmint produces reams of this kind of guff every day. A little more isn’t going to make any difference. ‘Sides – how’s it going to make your life different/worse?

Rhetorical question. You answered yourself buddy. The government wasting time, resources and money on bs like this crap is the same supposed wasted money I’m going on about.

You know how many references there were to gay and lesbians couples and children there were in that press release and discussion paper? Zero.

This is all about inheritance rights, access to super and right to a fair division of assets through the courts if a relationship breaks up. Not to mention the right to be treated as a partner by a doctor when dealing with serious medical conditions.

Adoption of kids by gay and lesbian couples is pretty much irrelevant in this discussion.

Okay – I can see arguing about the complexity of human relationships is going to get me nothing but a case of RSI, so in the face of Maelinar’s reductionism (forgive the Arts degree language) I’ll not get my tin opener around that can of worms.

Prove me wrong, but formalising a relationship makes it HARDER to rort the system for welfare money. I’d say the couples who want formal recognition of their relationships are more likely to be interested in superannuation and medical power of attorney than sponging a few extra bucks out of Centrelink.

Regardless of amount of attention this will receive in the media, the changes look pretty cosmetic to me – a typical ACT-gubbmint storm-in-a-teacup piece of legislation. Bravo.

Where is all the supposed wasted money, Maelinar? No, I’m not hacking out on you, I just don’t see the problem. The gubbmint produces reams of this kind of guff every day. A little more isn’t going to make any difference. ‘Sides – how’s it going to make your life different/worse?

human relationships are pretty simple enough for me.

male female
male male
female female

heck, let’s get even stranger:

female female male
male male female
female female female
male male male

It’s not the issue Mr Shab, although I remain in disagreement with your one-size fits all comment.

The issue, when it comes to the crunch, is that the government is going to waste time and resources by putting a bandaid over this issue, which will come back again as soon as whichever crapology they spin runs out of steam.

The issue is responsibility for actions, something that this government is pretty adept at avoiding.

I have simply cited just one example of where a same sex relationship are rorting the government blind, and there’s nothing they can do about it under the current arrangements.

I did that to highlight the situation, not make it the pillar example.

I agree with you, the matter is complex. My issue beyond the fact that I’m paying for this government to represent me and I don’t feel too represented, is that there are people out there wasting your money, my money, and everybody elses money by virtue of being a bludging asshole.

And I say fuck ’em. If they want to do it, good for them. Just don’t use taxpayer dollar to do it.

Whoa there JB, I was agreeing with your first post, Barkingtoad was just making a gender observation based upon the obvious bit.

Obviously there are other things under consideration (I hope).

The structure of his argument was that female-female and male-male relationships, which are destined to never have children anyway by virtue of stamplicking or tunnelling not being able to produce children, should not be looking at childbearing as an option.

Well said, johnboy.

People are a pretty diverse lot. Applying a one-size fits all policy ain’t going to work when you’re dealing with something as complex as human relationships – which is what Maelinar seems to be suggesting.

Maelinar is certainly right that a lesbian couple shouldn’t be entitled to two family benefit payments – but surely that’s a matter for Centrelink to address – not Stanhope.

BTW Barkingtoad

Women who’ve had hysterectomies should have their children taken away as well?

Men who’ve been the victim of industrial accidents?

I had no idea genitalia was so important even after conception.

While it would be fun to dictate the manner of relationships allowed (for example think of the benefits of banning marriage between people with the letter ‘y’ in their first name) at the end of the day it’s a failed model.

So people are going to have all sorts of whacky relationships.

And nature being what it is there will be children around.

I think it’s completely sane to recognise the reality of many situations for what they are and to stop discriminating in civil matters such as superannuation and hospital visits.

I’d even go so far as to say that if a child has lived all it’s life with a gay or lesbian parent then the person who’s done the raising should have more rights than whoever was the biological parent back at the point of conception.

Yes it’d be nice if everyone was in a loving marriage raising kids behind a white picket fence. Bravo to everyone doing just that.

But I think it’s just mean spirited to punish people for not conforming to that mold.

And worse it’s counter-productive. Proscription has a dismal record in matters of the heart.

It doesn’t, which was my point.

No, I still seem to be missing some vital logic here.

How the hell does being in any kind of love tirangle benefit children? And why would anyone think it would?

Well bonfire, thanks for asking that question. I’m not being forced to visually watch whatever congressions they may wish to do, however as a taxpayer, funding a lezzo couple to sit on their asses all day because they’re ‘stuck at home looking after their children’, and not in a recognised relationship so they both get the money that only one should be entitled to.

Fuck them. I’m working my butt off with the plan that my wife (when she gets pregnant) will be able to take time off, and we’ll be comfortable on the one income.

If I have to do it, so can they.

K, I clarify, even hetro people who get into love triangles ‘for their children’ are doing it for the wrong reasons.

So whilst ‘visually’ I am not being forced into ‘watching’, I’m certainly concerned that my taxpayer dollar is being misappropriated, and I’d like to ‘see’ where it’s going.

It matters to me that The State recognises unions because it enables ppl in said unions to the rights that ohter ppl in said unions enjoy (super, estate, next of kin, pension etc.).

I believe in equal rights for all (legal, human) relationships.

Absent Diane11:24 am 02 Dec 05

Bonfire… I agree 100%…

why should it even matter if the state recognises your union or not ?

recognition of marriage is a form of control. the church used its recognisition of marriage as a way of enforcing control, and the state does the same.

why people get all bent out of shape about others sexual perversioons is beyond me.

are they forcing you to watch ?

Um mael…

People get into hetero love triangle for their children?

barking toad10:57 am 02 Dec 05

yes, Maelinar and the Thumping one have pretty well summed up my thoughts on this issue. No problem with those that are on the gay side shacking up but they are not a couple as in man/woman when it comes to children and I don’t care how loving and caring they may be. 2 x sheilas (loose description) are lacking a dick and 2 x blokes (loose again) are lacking a womb.

And it’s typical to see the mayor not concentrating on the issues that are important to the great majority of Canberrans and pandering to the bleating minority hippie, gay, one legged indigenous greenie types including snouting politicians in public housing.

Fuck the hospital system, the GDE, potholes, lack of policing the deficit etc. Let’s save the the fucking whales

Col, nice point but people don’t get into lesbian love triangles for their children. If they did, I’d be very, very worried.

Bringing children into the equation is also something that should be ruled out, the issue is relationships.

Children are a fallout, and a seperate issue, although the onus of care is a responsibility of a relationship coupling.

d’oh, hoist on my own double post (mock away ssanta 🙂

Oh won’t somebody think of the children.

Well, I guess if Maelinar thinks that same-sex relationships are unfeasible, that’s the end of it.

I don’t know much at all about family payments and so that’s a whole other discussion ( but given that the Stan’s plan would be ACT based only, would it actually carry over to the federal system?)

I have to admit that I have at times felt uncomfortable about the emphatic celebration of sexuality that sometimes seems to come through gay culture but then I realised that if you look around straight culture, sex is everywhere, so maybe it’s more a matter that we just don’t notice it until a different spin is put on it.

(And on a technicality, IMHO PC depends on the political climate of the time, so given the religious right leanings of the commonwealth government, I’d say you are being entirely PC)

Oh won’t somebody think of the children.

Well, I guess if Maelinar thinks that same-sex relationships are unfeasible, that’s the end of it.

I don’t know much at all about family payments and so that’s a whole other discussion ( but given that the Stan’s plan would be ACT based only, would it actually carry over to the federal system?)

I have at times felt uncomfortable about the emphatic celebration of sexuality that sometimes seems to come through gay culture but if you look around straight culture, sex is everywhere, so maybe it’s more a matter that we just don’t notice it until a different spin is put on it.

Well perhaps you should’ve made a submission to the discussion paper.

*warning* – I’m about to get extremely non-PC.

It is widely recognised that in order to have a child, you require a male and a female. I dismiss outright the feasability of same sex partnerships as utter nonsense.

I am aware of the situation that there are those in society who abandon their partners and leave the other to raise the children, it is becoming widely recognised that (significantly) the abscence of a male in the formative years of a child leaves the child in a worse off position than average. I’m not going to go into golden children, nor exceptions to the rule, as they will always occur, but aren’t normal.

All that however, is not the situation, nor should they be entered into the discussion on relationships. Same sex relationships occur all the time, and I for one don’t give a fuck about them, I just wish they would keep their sexual antics in the bedroom like the rest of us manage to be able to do.

There are situations, such as two single mothers partnering up, the both of them claiming parent payment single, and licking each other stupid, or whatever it is that they do.

I disagree that they should both be eligible for PPS when they are a couple. Perhaps what they should be looking at, is eligiblity for welfare being limited to households.

eg: Woman A who lives at 1 Smith St, receives PPS, Woman B, who also lives at 1 Smith St, cannot because Woman A is already in receipt.

This, and similar normalisation will put things on equal level with the rest of us, and in turn cost the government less money in welfare.

Unless they approach this situation with a scalpel instead of a touchy feely, don’t really want to address the issues bandaid, they’re not going to solve anything.

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