Concern has been raised about Democratic Labor Party (DLP) candidate John Madigan scoring the final Victorian Senate seat in federal Parliament.

The DLP has been awakened from its 36-year slumber to take the seat, with the result officially announced by the Australian Electoral Commission last week.

The announcement sealed the fate of Family First senator Steve Fielding, who will stand down next July.
DLP policy staunchly opposes same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian access to assisted reproductive technology, including IVF and surrogacy, and opposes same-sex adoption both overseas and in Australia.

Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby co-convenor Dr Anthony Bendall told Southern Star Observer, given the DLP’s stand on gay issues, the result was “disappointing and disturbing”, however, it was unlikely to have a great impact on future legislation.

“John Madigan gaining the sixth Senate seat for Victoria is disappointing and disturbing, given the DLP’s extreme policy positions in a range of areas, including marriage, families, education, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination law, the abolition of the Family Court and no-fault divorce, assisted reproductive technology, abortion, contraception and child care, to name just a few,” Bendall said.

“However, despite the similarity between these policies and those of Family First, whose place he will take, the fact that the ALP and Greens together will effectively control the Senate after July 1, 2011 … means that Mr Madigan’s views will effectively ­­­­— and rightly — be irrelevant from a policy perspective.”

ALSO Foundation CEO Crusader Hillis said he was concerned the DLP’s policies on GLBTI people would “take us back 50 years”.

“In the same way as Family First, they have a much stronger voice than they actually have numbers. I think people are going to be putting it into context that they’re only one voice and they’re very much a minority voice,” he said.

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