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AUS: No Civil Unions for ACT after veto

Tue 6 May 2008 In: International News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Same-sex couples in Canberra have lost a legal battle for civil unions, after the Australian Capital Territory's Government was forced into a humiliating backdown on the issue during tense negotiations with the Federal Government. ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the Commonwealth threatened to veto its bill on same-sex unions, leaving the ACT with "no choice" but to amend it, reports The Age. "We are angry, disappointed and frustrated with the approach of our federal colleagues," Corbell told reporters yesterday. "I am sorry that the Federal Government has taken such a limited and … contradictory view of providing for equality before the law for gay and lesbian people." The Commonwealth agreed to end discrimination for gay couples in many federal laws last week, including in taxation and superannuation. But federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland has repeatedly ruled out supporting the ceremony aspect of the ACT's Civil Partnerships Bill, which he says would "mimic marriage". Corbell accused the Commonwealth of taking a hypocritical approach to equality for gay couples. "You can't provide for equality in some areas and say that discrimination exists and yet continue with a hypocritical position on other … matters," he said. He also accused the Commonwealth of exercising "undemocratic, 19th century colonial-style" powers in threatening to veto the bill. "We are once again being patronised by our federal counterparts." This story continues on the link below.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Tuesday, 6th May 2008 - 9:55am

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