Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

National

It’s time

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GetUp’s new video has “become our most-watched online video ever, and the fastest trending video in the world right now on YouTube!”

This weekend, delegates at the ALP National Conference will be voting on whether to make it their policy to end marriage discrimination. “Our video has already reached nearly a million people, but a national TV campaign this week is doubling that again, and really putting the pressure on.”

This smash-hit online video has been adapted for TV; playing during prominent national prime-time shows this week.

Together, we can make sure the conversation about equality continues right up until the National Conference:

Watch it here:

www.getup.org.au/lovestory

First published: 2011-11-30 12:05 AM

• Alex Greenwich

AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Media Release
Thursday December 1st 2011

QLD CIVIL UNION VICTORY SHOWS AUSTRALIA IS READY FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Marriage equality advocates have hailed the passage of a civil union bill through the Queensland Parliament saying it shows the nation is ready for same-sex marriages.

Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, said the new law allows for the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages in Queensland even though they are not recognised by the Federal Government.

“When we have the traditionally-conservative Queensland Parliament accepting the legal recognition of same-sex relationships through official ceremonies it’s a safe bet Australia is ready for same-sex marriages”, Mr Greenwich said.

“Submissions to the civil partnerships inquiry overwhelmingly supported marriage equality, as do all polls on this issue taken in Queensland, and it was clear from the debate that most Queensland MPs are as comfortable with marriage equality as they are with civil unions.”

“The achievement of civil unions in Queensland sends a clear message to the ALP National Conference that it’s time to provide equality for all Australians regardless of their sexual orientation or the state in which they live.”

Mr Greenwich went on to say that provisions in the new Civil Partnership Act which allow for recognition of interstate and overseas relationships mean Queensland now joins Tasmania in recognising overseas same-sex marriages as civil partnerships.

“It is absurd that we have two states that recognise overseas same-sex marriages, giving these unions full marital rights in state and federal law, yet the Federal Government refuses to recognise overseas same-sex marriages and actually tries to block them by refusing to issue the documentation partners need to enter them.”

“It is also absurd that interstate civil unions are recognised in Queensland, NSW, Tasmania and the ACT, but not in Victoria, while there are no civil unions at all in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.”

“The simplest way to resolve these confusing anomalies and inconsistencies is to allow same-sex couples to marry under federal law.”

AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Media Release
Thursday December 1st 2011

SEAT-BY-SEAT ANALYSIS SHOWS BIG SWINGS TO ALP FOR BACKING GAY MARRIAGE

Marriage equality advocates have sent all Labor Party National Conference delegates a list of electorates where Labor will pick up tens of thousands of votes if its supports marriage equality. (chart below, report here).

The list is based on Galaxy Research polling from October which shows a swing of up to 7.3% – the equivalent of over 1.1 million votes – to Labor if it supports marriage equality, including many existing Green voters.

The list is in response to a letter sent to delegates by the Australian Christian Lobby which claims Labor will lose votes in key marginal seats if it supports same-sex marriage.

Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, described the ACL figures as “shonky”.

“The ACL has calculated how many people signed its petition from marginal Labor-held seats and then claimed this means these key seats are threatened, but it failed to indicate which way the people signing its petition will vote.”

“It’s fair to assume most people who sign Christian lobby petitions have no intention of ever voting Labor no matter what its stance on marriage equality may be.”

Mr Greenwich said the Galaxy-based figures provide a far more reliable measure of the electoral impact of Labor support for marriage equality.

“We know for a fact that Labor will pick up Green voters, particularly young ones, if it supports marriage equality.”

“When we look at the swing electorate-by-electorate we see that labor can expect to tighten its hold on a large number of seats, and potentially win seats like Melbourne, Wentworth and Adelaide.”

“Marriage equality is clearly an electoral winner for Labor”

Seat by seat analysis below and a report can be accessed HERE

AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Media Release
Friday December 2nd 2011

STEPHEN SMITH’S SUPPORT FOR GAY MARRIAGE “REFLECTIVE OF COMMUNITY”

Marriage equality advocates have welcomed the support for reform from Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, who cited societies growing acceptance and tolerance of same-sex relationships when announcing he would support a change to Labor’s Platform to end discrimination in the Marriage Act.

Alex Greenwich, National Convener of Australian Marriage Equality, said the minister’s comments were reflective of the wider community “like Stephen Smith, many Australians have thought about this reform and opened their hearts and minds to the importance of equality for same-sex couples”

“It doesn’t matter what poll you look at, or what community forum you go to, it is clear most Australians support marriage equality” Mr Greenwich said.

The Labor Party will vote to amend their national platform to support same-sex marriage at this weekend’s opportunity. Mr Greenwich said people like Stephen Smith will have an historic opportunity this weekend:

“From union delegates to senior cabinet ministers, ALP members are looking forward to this weekend’s historic opportunity to show their party’s support for fairness, equality, and love”.

Australian Marriage Equality will today join advocacy group GetUP in presenting a petition of over 130,000 signatures to prominent conference delegates.

140,285 SIGNATURE-STRONG PETITION SHOWS AUSTRALIA SAYS “I DO” TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Media Release
Friday December 2nd 2011

GetUp and Australian Marriage Equality have today presented a massive pro-marriage equality petition of over 140,000 signatures to the Labor Party National Conference.

“This petition confirms what polls already show – Australians say “I Do” to marriage equality,” Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, said. “The Australian public has spoken and I’m confident Labor is listening.”

“If, as predicted, the Labor Party changes its platform to support marriage equality it will be a victory for love over prejudice and for equality over discrimination.”

“This weekend delegates to the Labor Party National Conference will vote on whether or not legislated discrimination is acceptable to the Australian Labor Party and to the Australian people,” GetUp National Director Simon Sheikh said. “Petitions like the one we have presented today and consistent polling show that the majority of Australians support this change and it is fundamentally the right thing to do, so it’s time for delegates to step up do the right thing, to end inequality under the law.”

“Many delegates have already expressed their support for change, not only is this welcome but it also provides young gay and lesbian Australians with hope that one day they will be able to live the life of their dreams,” Mr Sheikh said. “The mental health impacts of discrimination cannot be underestimated and that’s why we and over 140,000 other Australians urge delegates to change the Labor Platform to recognise marriage as a commitment made by two people who love each other, regardless of their gender.”

Mr Greenwich said if the party platform is changed, a conscience vote should not be offered.

“Any new policy should be a binding one,” Mr Greenwich said. “The Labor Party voted as a bloc to entrench discrimination in the Marriage Act in 2004, and they should vote as a bloc now to end that discrimination.” Mr Greenwich said. “But if the Party settles for a conscience vote we are still confident the issue will move forward, the momentum on this issue is unstoppable.”

“There are many people in the Coalition who support equality.”

Mr Sheikh also pointed to marriage equality as an issue important to the Party’s commitment to reform and renewal.

“To be true to that it’s important that no matter who opposes ending marriage discrimination the voices of delegates are heard loud and clear,” Mr Sheikh said. “Labor’s fundamental values are ones of equity, social justice and fairness.”

“This issue, more than so many others which will be debated over the coming days, defines those values.”

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