Media Release: Monday, 17 December, 2007

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today thanked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for again confirming Labor’s commitment to upholding the special status of heterosexual marriage and dismissing the idea that Federal Labor would allow same-sex civil unions.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said that the Prime Minister’s statements on the topic to reporters in Brisbane yesterday were in keeping with Labor’s pre-election commitments and were welcome for removing the doubt that had arisen on this issue over the last two weeks.

“Reports on the weekend that Labor had secret plans to allow gay civil unions have added to the general misinformation and confusion on this important issue. It was good to see Kevin Rudd yesterday decisively restating his party’s commitment to marriage and his opposition to civil unions,” Mr Wallace said.

Mr Rudd yesterday also reinforced Federal Labor’s commitment to a nationally consistent system of state-based relationship registration, similar to the one currently operating in Tasmania.

“Such registers would provide an effective mechanism for helping remove unreasonable discrimination for same sex couples, such as in terms of an individual’s ability to allocate their own finance and property. However, because they don’t include an official ceremony or celebrant and aren’t restricted to homosexuals, these registers don’t mimic marriage in the way civil unions or partnerships would,” he said.

“This issue is a litmus test for Labor with a very large part of the Christian constituency and they will have been pleased to see the Prime Minister reaffirm his position.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan