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Debate on same-sex civil union continues …

By GnT - 24 November 2009 85

The debate on same-sex civil unions continues, with a press release from Jon Stanhope stating the new legislation is not ‘anti-Christian’, as the Australian Christian Lobby asserts, but about ‘inclusiveness’. Jim Wallace has in turn responded that Stanhope has no mandate as claimed.

There has been some vigorous debate on this site about the merits of same-sex civil unions (or otherwise) but a big part of the issue is the right of the ACT to govern for its citizens which have elected it. If a state passed similar laws, as Victoria and Tasmania are likely to do, the federal government would not be able to overturn them so easily, despite what they thought of the actual laws. The feds forced self government upon us, but won’t allow us to govern ourselves if our laws don’t meet their moral criteria. Butt out Rudd!

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85 Responses to
Debate on same-sex civil union continues …
NickD 6:41 pm 24 Nov 09

chewy14 said :

I am slightly ambivalent about this topic but i would like to know the amount of people in the ACT who actually voted for Labor or the Greens with this issue being a major factor in their decision. I would think the number would be very small.

Maybe, but it was a well-known part of both parties’ platforms so there’s a popular mandate to bring the legislation in.

chewy14 3:35 pm 24 Nov 09

I am slightly ambivalent about this topic but i would like to know the amount of people in the ACT who actually voted for Labor or the Greens with this issue being a major factor in their decision. I would think the number would be very small.
I would much rather the government stopped wasting time on crap like this when they know there is a chance of it getting overturned. They should focus on their core policies of buiding more cycle lanes, arboretums and public artworks.

R. Slicker 3:32 pm 24 Nov 09

I can’t believe Rudd is thinking of overturning ACT law which was taken to not one but two territory elections and approved. If the public wanted this type of thing they would have returned the Howard government in 2007 rather than electing Labor, after all Howard did this and nailed his colours to the mast as a moral conservative throughout his term. This, along with Internet censorship will cause many who traditionally vote Labor for progressive policies to switch their vote to the Libs or Nats. After all, if we are going to have a conservative government we might as well have a fair dinkum one rather than a Claytons one.

Madame Workalot 3:01 pm 24 Nov 09

ACT, NT, Jervis Bay Territory, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Island, Norfolk Island etc are all territories. Their only real power comes from Federal legislation enacted under s 128 of the Constitution (the Commonwealth has the power to make laws for a territory), which can be taken away. Territories cannot even compare to states, which have specified powers in accordance with the Constitution.

The Feds are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If ACT was not given self-government, people would be whinging about being ‘taken over’. ACT was given self-government, and people still whinge. And it’s the same in the other territories…..

Jim Jones 2:57 pm 24 Nov 09

Gungahlin Al said :

And I personally have had a gutful of Kevin Rudd treating the ACT citizenry as the populist whipping boy to be trotted out every time he wants a Canberra-bashing headline in the trash metro media.

+1

housebound 2:46 pm 24 Nov 09

NT was going to be a state, but it needed support at a referendum. That failed, and so the NT stayed a territory.

There was some local politics involved, but someone closer to NT-world would need to provide more detail.

Gungahlin Al 2:36 pm 24 Nov 09

I think the issue is simple. If one of the states enacted this law, the Feds could do nothing about it. If the “sanctity of marriage” were somehow undermined, then they’d have no choice but to “suck it up.”

ACT laws should be treated the same way by the Feds – particularly given it’s the same mob who slagged off at Howard when he pulled the rug out last time. Talking to you Kate!

It’s the height of hypocrisy what the ALP are doing now at a Federal level. And I personally have had a gutful of Kevin Rudd treating the ACT citizenry as the populist whipping boy to be trotted out every time he wants a Canberra-bashing headline in the trash metro media.

caf 2:07 pm 24 Nov 09

The NT is not a state. I do not know where this myth originates from. Their laws can be overruled just as ours can be.

youami 1:57 pm 24 Nov 09

If ACT has self-government why does the NCA exist? Why do we only lease the land in the ACT? mmmm, sounds to me self-government is, and always has been, smoke and mirrors. Although, could we adopt similar legislation to NT as they are now technically a ‘state’ I do believe. We have a bigger population than NT and more concentrated in a smaller area.

btw, what has any government got to do with religion anyway? They’re separate entities and should remain that way. Whilst the press release from Stanhope does separate the laws from being anti-Christian, what if, hypothetically, they were in fact that way inclined, legislation has nothing to do with the church. Legislation exists already that could be deemed anti-Christian, such as abortion, the fact most folk do stuff on the sabbath aka rest days, divorce, etc etc. So, as with the silly shenanigans that occurred on Mt Ainslie recently, leave religion out of politics!

p1 1:49 pm 24 Nov 09

Maybe the fundies are against Gay Marriage because they know that if gay people can get married then they can have gay sex, and that will make fundies sad.

Jim Jones 1:30 pm 24 Nov 09

GnT said :

Is civil unions in the ACT a matter of federal importance?

It is if you’re afraid that all the fundies will get angry at you and swear their allegiance to the Liberal Party.

caf 12:40 pm 24 Nov 09

The legal status of the ACT as a territory is neither here not there when it comes to our moral right to self-determination.

GnT 12:25 pm 24 Nov 09

Is civil unions in the ACT a matter of federal importance?

phil m 11:54 am 24 Nov 09

We are a territory after all. We don’t really have the right to self-govern. It is merely a delegation to take care of business while the Federal government is occupied with issues of Federal importance. However, it would seem hypocritical of Federal government members not to intervene on issues they are elected to fight against.

GnT 11:53 am 24 Nov 09

This comment came from housebound:

Now I can’t really see why there is so much fuss over a piece of paper and whether a ceremony has legal standing, since all levels of government are going through legislation and removing discrimination from everywhere. It was a long time ago, but I vaguely remember church weddings needing a piece of paper to be signed to be legal, so the difference really is what Stanhope sees as ‘a little pedantic and little technical’.

More to the point, it is now clear that the Feds – the Labor Feds who foisted self-government on us – still think that the public servants who govern a nation can’t be trusted to govern themselves (do they know something we don’t?). Apart from their importance to those affected, civil ceremonies are as big a deal on the scale of everything as some other contentious issues (that also affected people) that have come up in the past 20-odd years. But the Feds didn’t do anything then.

I say go all the way and remove self-government, or leave us alone.

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