Residents rally for gay marriage
A PROUD contingent from the Douglas region will march on the Labor Party’s national conference in Sydney this weekend in support of gay marriage.
Port Douglas’s Lisa Whelan and Liz Collyer will be joined by six other local gay marriage supporters in the rally which is expected to attract thousands of people outside the Labor national conference on Saturday.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard plans to introduce a Bill to Federal Parliament enshrining gay marriage as law but it is likely to be defeated as it will be a conscience vote for Labor politicians and only requires a handful of the 73 members of the Government to vote against it to fail.
Ms Gillard is herself opposed to the Bill, despite polls indicating more than 60 per cent of Australians support same sex marriage.
“Julia Gillard and the Labor Party need to show some leadership on this issue and endorse gay marriage as policy rather than let the issue by be sidelined by a small minority of politicians,” she said.
“We will be rallying outside the national conference to show these politicians what the impact of their uninformed decision has on people.”
The Queensland Government was last night expected to pass the Civil Partnerships Bill which allows for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships but is largely tokenistic and does not carry the same legal protection as marriage.
“It’s a step in the right direction but does nothing to address the inequities in human rights - it reinforces the notion gay people are somehow different and distances them from the rest of the community,” Ms Whelan said.
“Introducing same-sex marriage will be the real beginning of removing the discrimination against gay people.
“It will take many years but I dream of the day that we can look back in the same way we do now about allowing women to vote and look at the absurdity of how it used to be, before we knew better.
“When the laws change I don’t know if we’ll get married or not, but I really would like to have the choice to show and have it recognised, that my relationship with Liz is based on the same foundations as any other marriage and that is commitment, respect and love.”