Advocates of federal civil unions and same-sex marriage were dealt a blow with the release of the ALP’s draft new policy platform on Monday which keeps the policy of state-based relationship registers.
If the draft is adopted at the national conference in July, Labor will commit to harmonising anti-discrimination laws and act to eliminate discrimination, vilification and disadvantage, including those based on sexuality.
We oppose all attempts to divide Australians by pandering to prejudice, it states.
Cementing the ALP’s opposition to marriage equality, the draft also states there will be no support for creating schemes that mimic marriage or undermine existing laws that define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Rainbow Labor and many individual party members had made submissions during the first round of consultations calling for stronger relationship recognition.
Despite the setback, Rainbow Labor spokesman Michael Vaughan said the issues could be tabled during open consultations in each capital city.
After the reforms that passed recently the Labor Party is prepared to talk about queer issues and act. The challenge we face is putting issues like relationship recognition on the table because wins are achievable, he told Sydney Star Observer.
Australian Marriage Equality were disappointed at the document’s contradiction of supporting equality but opposing same-sex marriage.
We urge ALP members who believe in equality not to quibble over details about civil union schemes, but to make a clear and strong statement in favour of marriage for all, AME spokesman Peter Furness said.
Australian Coalition for Equality spokesperson Corey Irlam said stronger wording was needed to demand federal anti-discrimination laws be introduced.
Meanwhile, the same-sex marriage movement Equal Love announced it will coordinate a national day of action on 1 August to coincide with the final day of the ALP national conference and attempt to hold the world’s largest mass illegal wedding.

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