Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases
The ACT Government will move to allow civil unions to occur within the month by bringing forward the commencement date of the Civil Unions Act, Attorney General Simon Corbell announced today.
Mr Corbell said the ACT Government felt compelled to take this action because of the Federal Government’s announcement yesterday that it intended to override the legislation.
“This may be in defiance of the Federal Government’s announcement but we believe our law is valid and that it does not impinge on any Commonwealth legislation,” he said.
“The Federal Government’s decision is unacceptable and undemocratic and it is important that ordinary Canberrans be given the opportunity as soon as possible to be part of a civil union. This legislation should be available to the people of the ACT.”
Mr Corbell said the Civil Unions Act, which was passed last month, would commence within two weeks. Originally the Act had been expected to commence by 1st August.
To facilitate civil unions occurring Mr Corbell said he would be introducing an urgent amendment bill to the Civil Unions Act in the Legislative Assembly tomorrow
“The amendment will reduce the notification period for people indicating they wish to enter into a civil union.
Mr Corbell said Canberrans in a same sex relationship were entitled to equality under the law.
“Ordinary Canberrans in same sex relationships are entitled to have the same rights under the law as other members of the community. This is fair, reasonable and just.
“By overriding the Civil Unions Act the Howard Government is imposing its conservative views on the thousands of people who are in loving committed same sex relationships.”
“This step will allow Canberrans in same sex relationships to enter into a civil union, and to show the Howard Government their support for this legislation.”
People interested in applying to be a civil union celebrant or in entering into a civil union will find more information on the website of the Registrar-General at www.rgo.act.gov.au
Statement Ends/ 7th June 2006
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