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.
-œWe oppose all attempts to divide Australians by pandering to prejudice, it states.
Cementing the ALP’s opposition to marriage equality, the draft states there will be no supportfor creating -œschemes 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 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.
-œThe 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 Southern Star.
The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and Australian Marriage Equality were disappointed with the document’s contradiction of support for equality, but opposition to same-sex marriage.
-œFor a document that promotes and celebrates Labor’s commitment to social justice and social inclusion, we’re strongly disappointed that relationships and marriage equality for same-sex attracted Australians is not on the ALP national agenda, VGLRL co-convenor Stephen Jones said.
Australian Coalition for Equality spokesman 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 -œillegal wedding.