Thursday 18 November 2010

Marriage for some, not for others

With the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton in the headlines, Britons are overjoyed. Some Australians however, are not celebrating and are calling for marriage equality under law for all couples.

Nick Thompson of the Cairns LGBTI Alliance, is helping co-ordinate a rally this Saturday at City Place, at 1pm.

As a member of the Labor Party, Nick Thompson offers both brickbats and bouquets to Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, who has given support for advancing Federal support for gay and lesbian Australians.

"There are parts that I praise Warren, [and parts] that are critical of him," Nick Thompson says. "Warren Entsch’s comments on broader equality measures regarding same sex couples and gender identity, are welcomed and greatly appreciated, particularly those relating to red tape, Medicare rebates, and the transgender community, as well as appropriate aged care facilities for
LGBTI seniors."

However, Entsch's latest call that creating legislation to allow same sex couples to marry is ‘provocative’ and less important, or getting in the way of these other reforms, is very concerning and incorrect, Nick Thompson says.

"Wedging the equality debate by saying some things are more important than others, or measuring what equality is more important than other forms of equality is a logic that does not add up," Thompson says. "Governments should be reforming every aspect of discriminating
legislation to create fair equal systems that don’t exclude anyone based on sexuality relationship status, or gender identity or penalises them based on this."

"Perhaps Warren should act on his call for an advisory group to better inform himself of what the community actually wants rather than trying to skirt around the issue of same sex marriage by incorrectly suggesting there are other ‘more important’ areas of social reform that require attention," Nick Thompson says. "They are all important and they are all possible,"

He says that Warren Entsch has a strong track record on gay equality issues, however playing different segments of the community against each other, so that he doesn’t have to act on same
sex marriage, is a political move that has not gone unnoticed and is immensely disappointing.

"The speeches in Federal parliament relating to same sex marriage from both major political parties, including Warren Entsch the member for Leichardt, have been incredibly heartening for the LGBTI community who are advocating for full equality," Nick Thompson says.

This Saturday's rally at City Place in Cairns, will be an opportunity for these issues to be aired. Nick Thompson says it's been six years since both major political parties have excluded same sex couples from the federal marriage act.

"It’s integral that supporters of same sex marriage from the Far North keep the pressure on parliament regarding the decision to exclude same sex couples from the marriage act and the rally is the perfect opportunity for people to do so," Thompson says.


Mrs Bear said...

It is ridiculous that this is even an issue, I cant see how two people who are homosexual getting married can have any effect on two people who are married and are heterosexual. Let them get married and good on you Warren for being sensible and not towing some archaic party line!

kate said...

Well said, Mrs Bear!