The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby will inform queer voters on which political parties are the most gay-friendly in the lead-up to the federal election.

The Lobby is currently in the process of surveying the major parties on issues such as federal anti-discrimination legislation and recognition of same-sex relationships and families. The research is being conducted in conjunction with ACON.

We have also asked the parties if they support repealing the marriage ban to recognise foreign same-sex marriages and if they support extending the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples now or in the future, Lobby co-convenor Somali Cerise said.

The Lobby will identify the key issues for our community, clearly lay out the positions and promises of the major and minor parties and detail their track record, Cerise said.

The survey results will be reported on the website in coming weeks.

Fellow co-convenor Rob McGrory said all parties had responded to their surveys in the past.

Before the last federal election the Lobby advised gay voters to put John Howard last. They do not usually endorse a particular party.

The Lobby this week launched its federal election campaign titled It’s Time -¦ For A Queer Make-over! based on the idea of Queer Eye-ing parliament.

The outcome of the 9 October poll is especially important for our community. Gay and lesbian voters face some complex considerations, McGrory said.

We have had over eight years of attacks on our rights by John Howard, and his government continues to treat us as second-class citizens. Unfortunately, while supportive on many issues, the Labor opposition has lacked the courage to be a strong voice for equality.

Gay couples by electorate

More same-sex couples live in the electorate of Sydney than anywhere else in the country, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Hinkler in Queensland has the lowest number, with just 18 same-sex couples.

Using data collected in the 2001 census, the ABS has determined the number of same-sex couples willing to disclose their relationship in each electorate.

The seat of Sydney (ALP) reported 2,265 same-sex couples. The next greatest number resided in the inner-Western Sydney seat of Grayndler (ALP) with 1,178. Melbourne (ALP) followed with 741 couples, Melbourne Ports (ALP) had 629, east Sydney seat of Wentworth (Lib) had 528, and Brisbane (ALP) had 506.

Gay couples were represented in every electorate in the country. Apart from Hinkler (NP), the seats with the fewest couples were Mallee (NP) in Victoria with 20, Braddon (ALP) in Tasmania with 21, Maranoa (NP) in Queensland with 24, and Capricornia (ALP) in Queensland with 27.

All up, 19,594 same-sex couples were recorded in Australia, representing 0.5 per cent of all de facto or married couples in the country. This was almost double the amount recorded in the 1996 census.

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