Media Release: November 23, 2009

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today questioned Chief Minister John Stanhope’s claims to have a mandate to introduce the ACT civil partnerships legislation with its ‘marriage-like’ ceremonies.

Responding to statements by Mr Stanhope today claiming a mandate for civil partnerships legislation, ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said: “It’s amazing for the Chief Minister to claim a mandate for civil partnerships when he has never released the results of a public consultation on the issue and he has in the past publicly acknowledged that he was in a minority with ‘about 10 to 1’ against him.”

“As incredible, too, is the notion that reinforcing Cardinal Pell’s characterisation of his government as anti-Christian would be ‘intemperate language’ when his government has branded the Federal Government as ‘bigots’ if they veto the ACT legislation, and the highly esteemed organisation Focus on the Family as ‘extreme’ and ‘fringe’ with – as their own investigation later proved - no justification.

“A minority government needs to be careful in claiming mandates,” Mr Wallace said.

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan