Monday, May 5, 2008

Who's more progressive than the U.S. this week?

I dunno, but it doesn't seem to be Australia--or at least not Kevin Rudd.

The Australian Capital Commonwealth--kinda like the District of Columbia for the U.S.--was going to pass a bill that would bestow legal recognition of same-sex couples. Since the ACT was granted autonomy in 1988, they're able to do this... but the federal government can override any legislation they want, and threatened to do so in this case. So the ACT had to scrap the idea.
ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell announced yesterday the Territory had abandoned its civil partnerships legislation and would instead settle for a system of relationship registers virtually identical to the ones operating in Tasmania and Victoria.


The legislation, which was quashed by the Howard government in 2006, would have allowed gay couples to have their relationships recognised in a legally binding ceremony.

It was the issue of the ceremony that prompted objections from the commonwealth, which said it would mimic marriage.

The ACT's amended scheme will allow for an "administrative ceremony", but Mr Corbell said it would have no legal weight.

He said the federal Government had not compromised at any point during negotiations, even when the ACT offered to remove licensed celebrants from the scheme.

Mr Corbell said representatives of Mr Rudd made it clear to him last Thursday the commonwealth was prepared to override the legislation if the ACT enacted it.

Via Evolving Thoughts.


John Wilkins said...

Min you, Australia is federally removing some hundreds of restrictive rights in federal legislation for gay and lesbian couples. We're not that bad...

Skemono said...

Granted. The article I linked to mentioned a "decision to remove discrimination against gays from all other federal laws", which is a hell of a lot more than has been done here.

Metro said...

If it ain't marriage, it ain't equal. Imagine:

March 30, 1870
Blacks throughout the United States today celebrated, as Congress passed the Fifteenth Amendment. The Amendment gives black men the right to "exercise sovereign franchise." While not actually voting, the "exercise" has a similar effect in law. Blacks will now use a special ballot to indicate their choice in elections, and will be counted in a similar manner to actual votes.

Southern stated broadly approved the measure.

Hopefully Rudd's moving toward actual gay marriage. Or perhaps he thinks they aren't ready.

Skemono said...

If it ain't marriage, it ain't equal.

However, this...
Hopefully Rudd's moving toward actual gay marriage.
is just wishful thinking in the light of bad news, I'm afraid.