Labor candidate breaks ranks on marriage

Labor candidate breaks ranks on marriage

Labor’s candidate to succeed Lindsay Tanner in the seat of Melbourne at the federal election has broken ranks with her party’s policy on same-sex marriage.

“I personally support same-sex marriage … I would obviously advocate that as hard and as strongly as I could within the Labor Party forums,” Cath Bowtell told The Age.

Australian Marriage Equality (AME) has welcomed Bowtell’s support on the issue and will now cease its leafleting campaign in Melbourne.

AME convenor Alex Greenwich said Bowtell’s comments showed that its campaign was working.

“Our letterboxing campaign in the seat of Melbourne has highlighted what a key issue this is for that electorate.

“As a result, in the next parliament, the seat of Melbourne will have a strong advocate for marriage equality, whether it is Labor’s Cath Bowtell or the Greens’ Adam Bandt.”

AME would end its leafteting campaign in the seats of Sydney and Grayndler as well if Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese were to do the same.

Bowtell’s declaration of her support for same-sex marriage follows votes by the Tasmanian and Victorian state conferences of the Labor Party in favour of marriage equality in July and November last year.

State Labor figures to speak about the issue in NSW include Heathcote MP Paul McLeay during debate on the Relationship Register Bill earlier this year.

“The year before last I attended the wedding of our friends Eleanor and Kate, which was a wedding in the same way as ours was,” McLeay said.

“I do not believe there is any harm in Eleanor and Kate saying that they are married … We must let people enjoy the benefits that we all take for granted.”

Premier Kristina Keneally told Time Out in May that she was “open-minded” about same-sex marriage.

“One writer I admire is Andrew Sullivan, a gay conservative. He argues that giving gay couples access to marriage actually strengthens the institution,” Keneally said.

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12 responses to “Labor candidate breaks ranks on marriage”

  1. Labor will lie to save themselves every time. They don’t give a rats about gay and lesbian people -they’ll as many mixed messages to confuse the voters. I don’t buy it – i’m goning to vote Green.

  2. Perhaps Cath Botwell might be able to have a small chat with Ms Plibersek about how to treat people with dignity and respect……..

  3. Simon,
    I also am married, to a beautiful woman whom I love. I fail to see how two guys marrying each other at all changes our union or our relationship. Nor do I see why I would in any way have to qualify that I am married “to a woman”. Why does anything someone else does affect the state of your marriage, and why would you care if being married no longer automatically implied that it was to someone of the opposite sex?
    Yes, the current definition of marriage under our constitution is that it is between a man and a woman only, but does this imply that laws could not and should not be changed as society changes? There is a law in melbourne that states that you cannot spend a specific amount of time in an area with less than 80pence (amount is not accurate, can’t recall exact amount and can’t be bothered to look it up) or they will be charged with vagrancy. Clearly, as time goes on laws become irrelevant and need changing. As do definitions.
    Over and over I hear this argument that allowing gays to use the term marriage will somehow undermine marriage. I just don’t see it. Will you suddenly love your wife less? Will your tax status as a married couple suddenly change? What actually is altered?

  4. Cath Bowtell might say she supports gay marriage, but will she support it in Parliament – against her own party and leader’s stance – should the issue come to a vote?

  5. Let me quote from
    I take reference to the following in regards to “undermine”:
    to weaken or cause to collapse by removing underlying support, as by digging away or eroding the foundation.
    This directly relates to the definition of Marriage in Australia:
    “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
    That is to say it is a blatant attempt to change something that is precious to me by it’s very definition.
    I reiterate, I am not upset if a gay couple seek formal recognition of their relationship status in law. I am offended if they want this recognition to be labeled as “Marriage”.
    Please do not discredit my value of marriage by putting it in parallel with slavery. That is the argument of the false third position and does not in anyway represent my position, it is not a relevant argument. Given that any discrimination by the word “marriage” is valid because that is WHY it is legally defined the way it is in Australia. It is NOT fair to say such discrimination is in any way to the detriment of any gay man or woman. To suggest it is is also to suggest that Julia Gillard is somehow disadvantaged by not being married.
    I fear many people think “discrimination” is a bad thing. It’s definition is twisted by those that want to change something to their own end. By example, you “discriminate” when you buy a pair of pants, a car, a house, choose a career or even a partner. This is not a bad thing. It is only bad when it oppresses people. I cannot possibly see how anyone is oppressed by Marriage being between a man and a woman.
    Thank you for the opportunity to reply.

  6. Isn’t it interesting that Gay activists use the same old propaganda and rhetoric against anything that they don’t like.
    “religious people, bigots, rednecks and groups”. I’m surprised you left out “narrow minded, homophobic, retrograde ect.”. It’s old and inaccurate, relying on sentiment and not intelligence.
    Marriage IS between a man and a woman. It is written in Australian legislation. What makes me despise gay rights people is their insistence that they deserve to be married. I am angry that my state of marriage is being undermined. If they had their way, if I told people that I was married I would also need to also explain it is to a woman.
    This is unacceptable. I am not against civil unions. Get another name for marriage but do NOT use marriage.

    Editor’s Note: Simon, just curious … HOW does same-sex couples being allowed to marry ‘undermine’ the institution? Oh, and by the way, slavery was also once acceptable under Australian legislation. Surely you are not suggesting that should never have been open to question?

  7. Is in it very strange that no one has noticed before that religious people, bigots, rednecks and groups use the same old arguments that keep popping up against gay marriage – are the exact same arguments against gay sex?????

  8. Cath Bowtell may say that, but when it comes to a vote in parliament her party will require her to follow the party line. Keep the leafleting campaign going, I say.

  9. According to Michael, “marriage is between a man and a woman no exceptions”.

    I think what Michael and others like him really want to say is that sex is between a man and a woman, no exceptions.

  10. finally someone willing to stand up and be counted, hopefully there are others that show a bit of back bone