McClelland on same sex reforms, gay marriage
Commonwealth Attorney-General Robert McClelland participated in a door stop yesterday afternoon. Here is a part of the transcript:
QUESTION: Mr McClelland, could I ask you about the same sex reforms that have passed Parliament. How important do you believe those reforms are and what does it mean for same sex couples?
ROBERT MCCLELLAND: I’m really quite proud to have been responsible for introducing those same sex law reforms. They remove from Commonwealth legislation, affecting about 88 different acts of the Commonwealth Parliament, remove discrimination against same sex couples. That means that for the first time that people in a same sex relationship will be treated equally as those in a heterosexual relationship. Equally as important, it means each and every child in Australia will have the same rights, irrespective of what the make-up of their family is. That’s very important.
I think it’s also symbolically important because removing those last vestiges of discrimination is entirely consistent with Australia’s respect for the fundamental human rights of each and every Australian. And I think it reinforces that discrimination in any way, shape or form, is unacceptable and is no longer part of the Australian legal system.
So I think that being achieved in the first year of the Rudd Government not only is consistent with our election commitment, but I think is very symbolic and obviously will make a real difference to the lives of a great number of our fellow Australians.
QUESTION: Could you ever see gay marriage being on the agenda?
ROBERT MCCLELLAND: It’s the Labor Party policy that a marriage is between a man and a woman, and the Prime Minister’s indicated a commitment to that and I have as well.