With the ACT Government poised to reintroduce its unfortunately still-all-too-controversial Civil Unions Bill, Kevin Rudd faces his first major test on GLBT rights since taking the reigns of power.
So far the messages have been mixed, with the PM indicating he will not veto the law no matter what form it takes, while simultaneously his Attorney-General Robert McClelland brings pressure to bear on the Stanhope Government to remove any mention of official ceremonies and to restrict eligibility to ACT residents alone.
McClelland’s comments that it would be unseemly for Canberrans to reap a tourism boom from same-sex couples travelling interstate to take advantage of the law are most disappointing. His predecessor in Opposition, Joe Ludwig, would have opposed the law too but without sinking to this kind of language.
Thankfully the only concession given by the ACT so far has been to hold the legislation back until after February next year so that more talks can take place. Let’s hope it remains the only one.
The Rev. Fred Nile has called for Christians to blacklist the nation’s capital as a tourist destination in response. Considering his party’s 0.8 percent result at the Federal election I don’t think Canberra’s florists and wedding planners are shaking in their boots just yet.
If McClelland and Federal Labor really want to avoid this sort of unseemliness they might do better by applying real pressure to those states still signalling intransigence on the state-based relationship registries the party promised us in the run-up to the election.
The New South Wales Government still has absolutely no plans to implement them, and little has been heard out of Queensland and the Northern Territory on the issue either.
Thankfully, with registries getting the go-ahead in Victoria and civil unions set to burst forth from within the host-body of New South Wales next year, the issue will become harder for Iemma to ignore through 2008 -“ assuming there still is a Iemma Government in 2008.
Already there are whispers of an ousting on the cards. Hopefully his replacement will be closer to the political Left, though the Labor Party could not do worse than the incumbent. Iemma must be one of the least-liked leaders ever to be elected to public office, his only redeeming factor being that voters at the last election found his shambolic mess of a government beholden to corporate donors slightly less frightening than the prospect of seeing the state run by the shambolic mess of a State Liberal Party beholden to religious weirdos.
E: [email protected]

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.