For release: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The ACT Greens’ Legislative Assembly convenor Meredith Hunter needs to explain whether polyamorous ‘marriage’ rights will be pursued if the Greens retain the balance of power at the up-coming ACT election.

The Australian Christian Lobby is concerned by a report in today’s The Australian detailing on-going marriage policy disagreement between the ACT Greens political party convener, Simon Copland, and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young.

ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said most people would be shocked that a prominent Greens party official is not only an advocate for polyamory but is openly defiant of the Greens’ Senator leading the same-sex marriage push in Federal Parliament.

Mr Shelton said the Greens’ official policy, as detailed on their website, calls for ‘marriage for all’ regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

“Greens’ policy seems to indicate an openness to ‘marriage equality’ for groups, despite Senator Hanson Young’s statements that the Greens wish to limit ‘marriage equality’ to two people.

“It is obvious from Greens’ party members and now this senior official that there is an expectation that the party’s agenda is ultimately for ‘marriage equality’ for polyamorous and polygamous people as well,” Mr Shelton said.

Mr Copland wrote on his blog: “I just think we need to use it (the same-sex marriage campaign) as a step to the broader goal of sexual liberation, not the end in and of itself.”

This mirrored comments by former High Court judge Michael Kirby at the recent Senate hearings into same-sex marriage where when asked about polyamory he said: “The question that is before the parliament at the moment is the question of equality for homosexual people. There may be, in some future time, some other question. The lesson in courts and in the parliament, I suggest, is that you take matters step by step.”

Mr Shelton said he would be surprised if people in the ACT shared Mr Copland’s political goal of achieving ‘sexual liberation’ and would want to know if the Greens had other steps in mind.

“Given the Greens have been strong proponents for Territory-based civil unions that mimic marriage, Ms Hunter needs to explain whether we will see a Greens-led push for polyamorous or polygamous civil unions in the ACT,” Mr Shelton said.