Australian minister angers gay marriage activists

Australian gay marriage advocates have hit back at their shadow communications minister for suggesting civil unions substitute marriage equality

Australian minister angers gay marriage activists
06 July 2012

Australia’s former opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull has received strong criticism from gay marriage activists for favoring civil unions over marriage in a recent speech.

‘While I am very doubtful the numbers are there to legislate for gay marriage in the federal parliament I think they are certainly there to legislate for civil unions,’ Turnbull said at Southern Cross University, New South Wales.

He added: ‘I think it would be great pity if marriage is not able to be passed in parliament, and that opportunity to pass civil unions should be taken up.’

Responding to the speech, Australia’s Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich said: ‘Where civil unions have been enacted, they entrench discrimination rather than remove it.’

He added: ‘Mr Turnbull should know better than to suggest civil unions as a way forward.

‘Civil unions may be a politically expedient cop-out for politicians, but they will never be a solution to the acute hurt and discrimination held by so many same-sex couples, their families, and their communities.

‘Turnbull’s own polling proves Australians aspire to a nation that provides equality for loving and committed couples, not one that settles on convenient half measures for politicians.’

This speech follows Turnbull’s recent call for a conscience vote on gay marriage.

Australian newspaper The Brisbane Times has also reported Turnbull saying gay people are not a threat to the marriage institution.

Polls have shown the majority people in each state support gay marriage, for example in South Australia where 67% agree that it should be legalized.



No thumbnail available

US Navy transgender sailor discharged for transitioning at work

A US navy communications specialist has spoken out to The Washington Post about being discharged for transitioning to being male – showing that part of the LGBTI community is still legally barred from serving in the US Armed Forces
No thumbnail available

Australian Government and Opposition MPs team up for non-partisan gay marriage bill

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that if same-sex marriage were to be legalized by the Australian Parliament it should be done in a way so that no one party owned the reform – so that’s exactly what a group of MPs are now working towards
No thumbnail available

US student assaulted, evicted after coming out as gay

Seeks $101,610 for property and emotional damages
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay pamphlet referred to South Australia police

Pamphlets criticized a local Adelaide council’s decision to fly the rainbow flag, included alleged facts about the health of gay men in Australia
No thumbnail available

Rush Limbaugh claims Matthew Shepard's murder was not anti-gay hate crime

Conservative radio host says: '... It's now been proven (it) didn't happen' while discussing Jason Collins wearing #98 in honor of Shepard
No thumbnail available

Egypt police arrest man for leading 'gay sex network'

Egyptian police have arrested a man who is alleged to lead a 'gay sex network', his case has been transferred to prosecutors
No thumbnail available

TV's Judge Judy learns about Grindr when two gay men appear in her courtroom

'What you're telling me, sir, is you went on this website in order to find someone who had the same sexual predisposition you did?'
No thumbnail available

Facebook must do more to become a haven of gender equality

As the social networking giant introduces 56 new gender options, activist Sarah Gibson explains why it needs to go further
No thumbnail available

Arnie claims dad beat him because he thought he was gay

Arnold Schwarzenegger says his parents tried to cure him after suspecting he was gay
No thumbnail available

Heroes and bigot named at Stonewall awards

Leader of the Scottish Conservatives booed as she wins but criticizes Stonewall. Sue Perkins, Jeanette Winterson and Gay Star News all honored