A new political party promising same-sex marriage is looking to score a Senate seat at the next federal election -” which could be sooner rather than later.

With talk of the federal Government calling an early election, the newly formed Australian Sex Party is scrambling to register with the Australian Electoral Commission.

Launched by Eros Association chief executive Fiona Patten last November, the Sex Party’s platform includes support for increased sex education in schools, sexuality and gender equality, and opposition to censorship, particularly the Government’s proposed internet filter.

Patten has been involved with the Eros Association, an industry body representing the adult retail and entertainment industry, for 16 years. She says her move into politics stems from a shift from the major parties to the right.

If a double dissolution is called, all Senate seats will be up for re-election, as opposed to the usual half for standard elections.

The party has already signed up the 500 members required to qualify as a political party, however, it is still weeks away from official registration.

I’m not too concerned about it but it does go out to public objection and there will be a process for that and I have no doubt we will receive rejection. Frankly we’re looking forward to that part of the process, Patten said.

We need to be registered if they call an early election. In states like Victoria that will be very interesting because the Sex Party will be running against [Communications minister] Senator [Stephen] Conroy and [Family First Senator] Steve Fielding.

Patten, who has been canvassing interest in Western Australia, said party membership is nearing the 2000 mark, and the party’s website has had 40,000 hits.

The Sex Party is set to run for the Senate in all states. Although no candidates have been named yet, most are likely to be female, in line with a policy to close the gender gap in Parliament.

Patten said the party’s policies are still being fleshed out. Equality for gay, lesbian, and transgender people, however, is definitely on the agenda, confirming support for civil unions and gay marriage.

I see no reason why the Marriage Act shouldn’t be amended to recognise gay couples -” we would be pushing that.
We certainly will work towards changing the Marriage Act and doing what we can to remove all discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.

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