Media Release: Wednesday, 29 March, 2006

The Executive Chairman of the Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace, is astounded that the ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, is so obviously and deliberately undermining the Federal Marriage Act. The Civil Unions Bill 2006 was tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly yesterday.

“The Civil Union Bill itself states that for all purposes under territory law a civil union is the same as marriage except that it can be a same sex union,” said Mr Wallace. “It goes on to redefine a spouse as a civil union partner and redefines ‘marriage’ in ACT law as a civil union which is different from the Federal definition.”

“The non-residency requirements and overseas same sex marriage recognition, mean that residents in other States can form a civil union in the ACT even though other State legislatures may not agree. Same sex couples married overseas will also have their marriage recognised in the ACT, in direct defiance of the Federal Marriage Act.”

Mr Stanhope is so clearly challenging the Federal Marriage Act, that the Federal Government should have no hesitation in over ruling the legislation.

Contact: Jim Wallace