Oz gays demand union commitment

Victorian human rights group, Civil Union Action! (CUA), has called on the Bracks Government to commit to formal partnership laws for same-sex couples in advance of the state election.

At an election forum on Saturday, State Labour MP for Prahran, Tony Lupton, said there have been discussions between gay community representatives and the Government about a Tasmanian-style relationship registry.

But Civil Union Action spokesperson, John Kloprogge, said same-sex couples deserve to know if the Government takes their aspirations for legal equality seriously enough to make a pre-election commitment on the issue.

“Same-sex partners who are committed to each other want to know whether the Bracks Government is committed to them”, Mr Kloprogge said.

“We welcome the consideration given by Labour MPs to registration schemes, but same-sex couples want a commitment from the Government.”

“Same-sex couples want laws to formalise and affirm their relationships, and which grant them all the rights enjoyed by married couples under Victorian law,” Mr Kloprogge continued.

Mr Kloprogge said Premier Steve Bracks had a clear choice to make, but warned that same-sex couples would not accept inaction.

“Mr Bracks is now in a position where he can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to laws that meet these requirements. But remaining silent and promising nothing is not an option.”

CUA has vowed to publicly campaign on civil unions right up until the November 25 state election.

Mr Bracks has previously opposed civil unions but is believed to favour registration schemes.