Media Release: Thursday, 11 May, 2006

Thirty-six (36) ACT church leaders have expressed their concerns about the Civil Unions Bill to Jon Stanhope in a Joint Statement, submitted to the Chief Minister this morning.

David Yates, Chief of Staff of the Australian Christian Lobby, stated that, “The Joint Statement of Concern was presented to Mr Stanhope before debate on his Civil Unions Bill and the Opposition’s Registration of Relationships Bill this afternoon. It calls on Mr Stanhope to withdraw his controversial Civil Unions Bill and to recognise same sex couples in a way that does not undermine, confuse, or mimic marriage.”

The Statement concludes that, “the strong feelings aroused in the community over this issue are testament to the belief that marriage is an important part of our culture and should be respected and honoured. The views of such a large part of the ACT in opposition to Civil Unions should not be ignored or pushed aside. We join [Mr Stanhope] in wanting to see minority rights protected, but do not believe that this extends to imposing a minority world view on the great majority.”

In addition to this expression of concern by ACT church leaders, more than 1,600 Canberra residents have signed a petition calling for the removal of the Civil Unions Bill 2006 and its replacement with a relationships register similar to Tasmania’s.

Contact: David Yates