Liberals soften on equality

Liberals soften on equality

The federal Opposition has softened its position on the Rudd Government’s equality reforms, which now include federal recognition of state and territory registered relationships and same-sex child support.

But new Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull is yet to show his hand on these developments.

Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis told the Sydney Star Observer the Liberals would continue to push for recognition of non-conjugal interdependent relationships, but would not block the current reforms if the interdependency model fails to win support.

We’re going to pass this bill, the senator said. Our position on this bill, as with all the bills in this reform, is that this should have been done years ago.

Costello tried to have it done but that was stopped -¦ those people are no longer in the parliament.

Despite the Liberal backbench dissidence revealed following the first of the inquiry reports, Brandis said his party was united in its support for the removal of discrimination against same-sex couples, their children, and interdependent relationships.

State and territory registered relationships would be recognised federally under the Government’s latest bill, which passed through the lower house yesterday, renewing pressure on NSW Labor to introduce a register.

However, gay and lesbian lobbyists are unhappy couples would be treated simply as de facto, with no consideration for the affirmation and declaration same-sex couples have made about their relationship.

We feel it’s inappropriate to label a registered relationship as a de facto partner, the umbrella de facto partner should be changed to partner of a couple relationship, Australian Coalition for Equality spokesman Corey Irlam said.

Secondly, we feel the Federal Government should recognise international formalised relationship schemes by removing the limitation to -˜state or territory’.

The Senate inquiries have been dominated by the Rudd Government’s use of the term product of a relationship to refer to children, and concern that step-children might not be recognised.

However, the Rudd Government has already conceded it made a mistake and has circulated an amendment that includes child support payments to children of separating same-sex couples.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said she expected the final report to recommend a new, more inclusive definition for children in a relationship.

These developments show committees and the Greens on the cross-bench are effective in reviewing legislation and making improvements. I would hope the Government would continue to work this cooperatively, she said.

New opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull was not present for the resumed debate on the same-sex forums in Parliament this week and came under attack for failing to make his position known on the latest reforms.

Recently demoted Liberal backbencher Bronwyn Bishop repeated her earlier condemnation of the reforms for undermining marriage and encouraging polygamy, despite her party’s unified support.

See also: Turnbull’s absence causes ire

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10 responses to “Liberals soften on equality”

  1. I suspect that currently hundreds of reglious consertives are writting letters to Mr Brandis begging for the reform not to go ahead, so I susgest all GLBT’S wanting this reform to go ahead to contact Mr Brandis email: [email protected]

  2. “Is it unkind to wish that certain members of the ageing population would age a bit quicker?” Or ‘more quickly’ even. But no matter, as the old guard of reactionaries pass on or away, there always seem to be new ones to replace them. Personally I don’t get the thinking that Turnbull is going to be our champion; the man is a self-serving and treacherous egoist.

    He was lawyer to Kerry Packer during the battle to take over Fairfax. Turnbull wanted a seat on the Fairfax board; Packer said no-¦so Turnbull handed over all of his notes on Packer’s secret plans for Fairfax to the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal and the $megamillion deal collapsed.

    He also sabotagued the Republican movement, making sure he became head of the Republican movement and bullied everyone in the lobby into accepting a referendum question that played into the hands of monarchists and was doomed to be defeated, (whether our president should be elected by parliament.)

    Despite the HIH Royal Commission making no adverse finding against Teflon Turnbull, he’s been unable to put behind him the allegation that he played a role in Australia’s biggest ever corporate collapse.

    Turnbull’s history is one of ruthless opportunism I’d rather trust a taipan snake.

  3. Is it unkind to wish that certain members of the ageing population would age a bit quicker? Bronwyn Bishop is an imperious fossil with a Stone Age attitude to match. With a keen mind for the nub of critical national issues, like muslim headscarves and keeping the gays down, one can only gather from Bouffant Bronnie’s latest objections that she would rather see children of same-sex couples continue to be economically disadvantaged than offend her narrow sensibilities. Such a shining political legacy. Boo to her.

  4. Hank if you bother to read the record of what was said in parliament their are some wonderful speeches in support of the reforms. The Liberal moderates were hunted to near extinction by Howard. And Turnbull seems to be having a bob each way, delaying what should be a straight forward decision to support the Bill.

  5. Hank – you may not realise this but most Labor mps have spoken in favor of the proposed reforms so Kevin in my opinion does not need to make his voice heard, however virtually no Liberal has even spoken in support of the reforms, some Liberals say they support the idea of removing discrimination but then they critize the reform saying it will some how undermine marriage.

  6. Too Right Ronson! I know that Hillsong look! All smiles and friendliness, only to sedate you and then brainwash you!!

  7. Stuart Robert isn’t a senator, so it doesn’t matter what he thinks.

    But isn’t it curious all this fuss about Turnbull being absent when we haven’t heard a peep out of Kevin Rudd about gay rights during this whole thing. Aren’t they meant to be his reforms? Well why hasn’t he said anything?

  8. Notice how Mr Brandis states: “but would not block the current reforms if the interdependency model fails to win support” – Well the will win as the Liberals have control of the senate, and the current bill does not include interdependency so he is really saying that the Liberals WONT pass the current bill in the senate.