Thursday, 1 May 2008

Law Council criticises failure to agree to gay marriage

The Law Council of Australia, while applauding the Rudd Government's commitment to same sex law reform is critical that the Government is not prepared to agree to same sex marriage.

Law Council President Ross Ray QC said, “Any step towards eliminating discrimination brings us closer to meeting our international human rights obligations, makes us a fairer, more just community and ought to be greeted with strong approval.”

However, Mr Ray stressed that the job would not be complete until the Commonwealth Marriage Act is also amended to remove legal restrictions preventing the marriage of same sex couples.

“As long as the Government remains intent on preserving a special class of state-sanctioned relationship which is closed to same-sex couples, discrimination will persist,” Mr Ray said.

“And it will persist regardless of whether or not any Government entitlements are exclusively available to couples within that limited class.”

He said the Law Council would continue to advocate for reform in this area.

“In the end, it’s simple – all people are equal before the law and should be entitled to the same fundamental rights.”

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