Media Release: Saturday, 2 February, 2008

The ACT Government’s decision to support a small rally today in favour of same sex civil unions while previously ignoring far bigger rallies against same sex adoption is further proof that they are working to a biased agenda, irrespective of public opinion.

That’s the message from the Australian Christian Lobby, which today said that the Stanhope Government’s civil partnerships legislation is not in the best interests of the community and defies Federal Labor’s commitments in this area.

“ACT Government Ministers were nowhere to be seen when a total of 3,300 people attended three rallies in late 2003/early 2004 to oppose the ACT same sex adoption bill. They ploughed ahead with the legislation despite some of the largest public rallies ever on an issue of ACT legislation,” Mr Wallace said.

“In contrast ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell and Education Minister Andrew Barr have supported a far smaller rally today purely because it matches their Leader’s social engineering agenda, an agenda that like homosexual adoption sets national, not just ACT, precedents.

“This agenda to introduce civil partnerships undermines heterosexual marriage, goes against the public will, and also defies the new Federal Government’s election commitments and the Labor Party’s own National Conference resolution from April last year. It could also set a dangerous precedent for other States.

“If we weaken the model of marriage as being between a man and a woman, we put at risk a universal cultural mainstay proven over millennia and validated by modern research as the best environment for raising children and building civil society.”

Mr Wallace said that if the ACT Government and same-sex activists are genuinely concerned about the removal of unreasonable discrimination for same-sex couples then introducing a relationships register would provide a sensible alternative.

“ACL is not opposed to seeing the introduction of a relationships register, like the one operating successfully in Tasmania. This would be in keeping with the Federal Government’s commitments to introduce a nationally consistent system of statebased relationship recognition without mimicking or undermining marriage.

“Marriage is central to the fabric of our society and has been clearly shown to be the best environment in which to bring up children. We should be looking to promote marriage in the ACT, not undermine it.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan