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From The Canberra Times [May. 2nd, 2008|03:56 pm]
Bob Bain
According to The Canberra Times "The stand on same-sex unions" is both immoral and seemingly illegal...

02 May 2008 - 8:35AM

Stand on same-sex unions immoral
WAYNE MORGAN

Yet again, the rights of lesbian and gay Canberrans are being sacrificed by government for the sake of expedient political goals.

The Rudd Government's position on the ACT's civil partnership law is immoral and illegal. It is immoral because it maintains a hierarchy that emphatically states heterosexual relationships are better than same-sex ones. It does this by saying that heterosexual unions are entitled to a publicly endorsed ceremony where the government validates the relationship, but same-sex unions are not.

The Rudd Government's position is also illegal because it breaches Australia's international human-rights obligations. The UN Human Rights Committee states same-sex relationships must be accorded equality by all governments in Australia.

The Howard government ignored this and the Rudd Government is doing the same. Rudd maintains the Howard government's position that the ACT's law "mimics" marriage and should thus not be allowed. This position is irrational and driven by paranoia over the electoral importance of the extreme religious lobby.

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This opinion piece concludes....

Both governments have backed themselves into a corner at the expense of gay and lesbian rights. The Rudd Government should reassess the influence it allows the conservative Christian lobby to have over its policies.

The Stanhope Government should reassess its fetish for compulsory ceremonies. Such reassessment is essential if the human rights of gay and lesbian couples are to be respected.

Wayne Morgan is a senior lecturer in law at the Australian National University's College of Law
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