Friday, 26 October 2007

What the parties say (or don't say)......

Earlier this week, I was asked by Qnews, as its legal columnist, to find out what the political parties' positions were on same sex law reform, particularly in light of the report of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission which found that there was discrimination in a myriad of Commonwealth laws against same sex couples.



Liberals

Reports indicated that this issue was discussed at Cabinet, where no decision was made as the Cabinet was split, with some Ministers including Turnbull and Ruddock being in favour, and others including Minchin, Abbott and Andrews, being against.

It is not known what the position was of Peter Costello.

Ultimately it was left to John Howard to decide.

That position was made plain when at a joint party room meeting the PM opposed any changes.

As part of the preapration for my story, I emailed Liberal HQ, and also phoned for the State media director, pointing out that I had a deadline the same day and that the paper would come out about a week before the election. I have had no response.

Nationals

The policy is not published. I similarly left a message for the State Director to call me, my saying the same thing in that message as I did for the Liberals' state media director.

No response.

Labor

The ALP has published its policy online- essentially it is opposed to gay marriage, but in favour of removing all discrimination- so endorsing the HREOC report.

The ALP also favours a state based system of relation registries for same sex couples as occurs in Tasmania and as proposed for Victoria.

Kevin Rudd in the meantime has come out and said that he is opposed to same sex marriage, and whilst he is largely opposed to adoptions by same sex people (though he found that there were some exceptions) that was a matter for the states.

Greens and Democrats

Both the Greens and the Democrats seek that same sex couples have the same rights as everyone else, and have the right to marry. They would enact the changes supporting the HREOC report.

Link to Qnews