Media Release: Friday, 12 August, 2005

Mr. Richard Thackway, ACT Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, claimed that the Stanhope Government’s Recognition of Same Sex Relationships Discussion Paper had little legal grounding and would provide no further rights to same sex couples in the ACT.

About 100 people from major denominations and the general public came to hear Dianne Spooner from the ACT Department of Justice and Community Services, Mr Andrew Jones, solicitor from Capon and Hubert and Shadow Attorney General Bill Stefaniak at the ACL Public Forum last night.

“The three options in the paper, registration, civil union and same sex marriage, provide no more rights or protection than the current common law and domestic partnership legislation. Factors such as estate settlement and hospital visitation are non-issues,” claimed Mr. Thackway. “Introducing any of these options may in fact lead to confusion, lengthy court processes and possibly an erosion of rights.”

“The discussion paper simply does not address any pressing community need. There are no substantive legal grounds for any of the proposed options. It seems that the Stanhope Government is being distracted by a minor issue,” said Mr. Thackway.

Contact: Richard Thackway