Tanya Plibersek had serious concerns about the timing and content of Greens MP Michael Organ’s Private Member’s Bill on same-sex law reform.
Sydney Star Observer has obtained emails sent between Labor MP Plibersek and Organ from May this year. They reveal Plibersek expressed concern Organ had not consulted with the gay and lesbian community and had opened the door for the Liberal Party to ban same-sex marriage.
Both Plibersek and Organ confirmed they were involved in an email conversation about same-sex rights before Organ introduced his Bill.
But the MPs had different opinions about the amount of community consultation that had taken place.
I had another round of meetings last week with gay and lesbian and transgender groups -¦ and none of them seem to have heard of the legislation, Plibersek wrote shortly after the Bill had been introduced.
I am really very concerned that legislation should not be made on behalf of the communities without involving them in the process. I particularly think you should have consulted the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby which has been working on legal reform issues for over a decade.
The issues of relationship equality are much too important to be kicked around between political parties without regard to the wishes of the people most affected.
Organ told the Star the Bill was the result of extensive consultation with the LGBTI community around Australia [and] a long-standing Greens policy commitment to remove discrimination based on a person’s sexuality.
In essence, the policy aims to remove all discrimination on the basis of sexuality, a concept that both the ALP and Liberals can’t stomach, Organ said.
He did not believe the same-sex marriage ban happened as a result of the timing of his Private Member’s Bill.
It was obvious Howard was going to move on banning same-sex marriage, just like his partner in crime George W Bush. Remember the PM first publicly opposed same-sex marriage by stating that heterosexual marriage was essential for -˜the survival of the species’ way back in August 2003, a whole nine months prior to my bill being introduced, Organ said. It’s misleading to suggest John Howard introduced his legislation because of the actions of the only Green in the House of Representatives.
Meantime, Queensland’s Liberal and National parties are fighting about the suitability of openly lesbian Brisbane Liberal candidate Ingrid Tall.
The Australian reported National Party candidate Nick Withycombe said he understood families would find it difficult to vote for Tall.
She has never experienced that, and at this stage she never will, Withycombe said. She can’t appeal to that constituency.
Tall recently came under fire for telling a community forum she didn’t support same-sex marriage.