Efforts to block the federal government’s veto of the ACT’s civil unions law in the Senate have failed, with a disallowance motion being rejected by a slim majority this afternoon.The defeat came despite Liberal senator and former ACT chief minister Gary Humphries crossing the floor to vote for the motion.Thirty-two senators voted against the motion proposed by Labor, the Greens and the Democrats. Thirty voted in favour of the move. Fourteen senators did not vote.The motion was federal parliament’s last chance to block the civil unions overrule, which took effect earlier this week.Today’s debate saw senators including the Greens’ Kerry Nettle and the Democrats’ Lyn Allison urge parliament to uphold tolerance by backing the disallowance motion.Nettle urged parliament to take the opportunity to remove discrimination, as the federal government has promised to do.Allison said the federal government’s homophobic stance, including the civil unions veto, was deeply damaging.Activists have expressed disappoinment at the Senate vote but vowed to fight on.Newly formed Melbourne lobby group Civil Union Action will hold a protest outside Liberal Party headquarters in the Victorian capital tomorrow to protest the Senate decision.The actions of the federal government in overriding the civil unions legislation has nothing to do with legal conflicts, and everything to do with homophobia, Civil Union Action spokesperson John Kloprogge said.The ACT government is expected to introduce a new civil union bill into parliament following today’s Senate vote.The federal government has said it will examine any future civil union legislation.

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