Same sex civil unions: A dialogue between Nicola Roxon and Robert McLelland

7 02 2008

Then . . .

[Nicola Roxon:] The Howard Government’s announcement that they will overturn the ACT Civil Unions Act is a slap in the face to the voters of the ACT and same sex couples. [. . .] Other than pure arrogance, there is no reason for federal intervention in this case.

Now . . .

[Robert McLelland:] We think a civil unions register along the lines of Tasmania is appropriate[. . . .] The ceremonial aspects of the ACT model were inappropriate.

Federal Labor wants to remove a section of the ACT Government’s Civil Partnership Bill that allows gay couples to celebrate their union in public (the horror!). Why this is so, apart from pure arrogance and sheer bigotry, is an absolute mystery.

(Could it be the ugly side of Faith in Politics?)




2 responses

7 02 2008

Yes, some bigotry is involved; arrogance maybe. I know of many people who are neither bigoted nor arrogant — and here I limit myself to people I know who are not members of any church — who for one reason or another stop short of the full idea of gay marriage, and that includes people who are not at all homophobic, accepting of me and others and their relationships. Generally such people agree that legal discrimination against gay couples should be rolled back, and even accept gay unions in all but extending the word “marriage” to them. Now we can speculate about why this is, and even find it unfortunate, but I think we have an evolving consciousness about this. Therefore, I am careful about words like “bigoted” and “arrogant” in this discussion.

Personally I would be happy with either the Tasmanian or ACT models.

7 02 2008

Therefore, I am careful about words like “bigoted” and “arrogant” in this discussion.

I’d be less prepared to use this language if I was actually presented with good reasons for not granting gays and lesbian couples the same rights enjoyed by heterosexuals. I’d be more careful about such language if I could actually be presented with a sound justification for why it so objectionable that the ACT Bill–which doesn’t even recognise gay and lesbian couples as married–is prepared to recognise the civil partnership from the moment of its signing in the context of a formal ceremony, that it is necessary for the Federal Government to veto such legislation. Not only are same-sex couples unable to be legally recognised as married: they’re not even allowed to have a ceremony because it apparently resembles marriage too closely, and that alone will destroy heterosexual marriages and cause people to marry their pets.

Sorry, but sometimes spades need to be called spades.

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