Although the Rudd Government’s equality reforms have yet to receive the final Senate nod, Rainbow Labor and Attorney-General Robert McClelland celebrated the success so far at the first 58’08 party of the new era.
When we were setting this up, we all thought the reforms would have been passed by now, McClelland told the gathering of equality supporters at a gallery in Darlinghurst on Friday.
The delays by the Opposition were inexcusable, he said, especially since it sat on the recommendations of a Senate committee that identified discrimina-tion more than 10 years ago.
Throughout this time, little was done at a federal level to respond to those developments. Quite frankly, this was shameful, McClelland told the crowd,
Rainbow Labor co-convenor Michael Vaughan said there was reason enough to celebrate early.
We’ve won the biggest gain in gay and lesbian law reform history, Vaughan said. We need to celebrate the strength that we have as a community because we’ll need that strength for campaigns we want to run in the future.
First we need to celebrate, then remind the community what these reforms actually mean. After that we can take a breather and look to the next campaign.
Federal relationship recognition and marriage were frequently raised for future reforms in a short film made by Rainbow Labor members and shown for the first time at the gathering on Friday.
Among those attending were federal minister Tanya Plibersek, MLCs Penny Sharpe, Helen Westwood and Peter Primrose, and former NSW Attorney-General Jeff Shaw.
Liberal spokesman George Brandis previously told the Sydney Star Observer the Opposition would support the remainder of the Government’s current equality reforms, even if it doesn’t win support for its own parenting amendments.