New Bid To Pass Gay Partnership Bill In
Australian Capital Territory
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: December 12, 2006 9:00 pm ET
(Canberra) The government in the territorial
district that includes Australia's capital Canberra has begun a new attempt to
give same-sex couples many of the rights of opposite-sex married couples.
The Australian Capital Territory government has
filed a bill that would legalize civil partnerships. Last year the
government passed a similar bill only to see the federal government quash it
claiming the measure contravened Australia's ban on same-sex marriage. (story)
This time the government hopes
revisions to the original bill will be acceptable to the government of Prime
Minister John Howard.
The major change replaces the
word union with partnership. The new bill also drops a comparison of civil
partnerships to marriage.
"The Government is fully committed to this
legislation," said ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell in introducing the
"The Government does not accept that it is somehow
satisfactory to discriminate against one part of society and so it is
introducing this legislation here today.
But Corbell also said that the
ACT government won't proceed with a vote until it gets a legal opinion from his
"We will look at it. I've noted that there have
been some changes but I want to reflect upon the totality of the issues before
I give a considered view," is all Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock
would say about the legislation.
After Ruddock's government
moved to overturn the first bill the Federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission began an investigation into inequities faced by same-sex couples. (story)
Last week the South Australia
state parliament passed legislation granting same-sex couples most of the state
rights accorded to opposite-sex married couples. (story)
Public opinion has been slowly shifting in favor
of recognizing same-sex relationships and Prime Minister John Howard has
suggested his government may look at ways of granting limited recognition to
same-sex couples. But Howard said he has no intention of repealing the ban on