Thursday, November 17, 2011

Marriage equality is the civil rights issue of our time

"I believe that marriage equality is, without doubt, the most important civil rights issue of our time.

"I am proud of the Labour Party's record of supporting same-sex couples and the steps taken to advance the rights of these couples over the last number of years must be greatly welcomed. However, they simply do not go far enough.

"Same-sex couples still face enormous discrimination in this society. For example, gay or lesbian partners still cannot apply to jointly adopt and parental rights cannot be conferred where a civil partner is not the biological or adoptive parent to the child. This is not just discriminating against same-sex couples, but this represents discrimination against the child as well.

"Further, civil partners face enormous challenges when it comes to property and legal procedures which married couples do not. These are issues which I believe need to be seriously addressed at the proposed Constitutional Convention.

"Finally, I wish to state that I am absolutely convinced of the arguments laid out by the Marriage Equality organisation, with whom I met today, and I would like to sincerely thank their representatives for taking the time to meet with Members this afternoon to address this vital issue."