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to VATICAN statement on SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS July 2003

Pope's Interference in domestic politics an Abuse of Power

Senator Brian Greig
Democrats Senator for Western Australia
Australian Democrats spokesperson for Sexuality Issues

The Pope's call for Catholic parliamentarians to actively oppose laws which recognise gay and lesbian relationships is an appalling interference by the church into domestic politics.

Australian Democrats' Sexuality spokesperson, Senator Brian Greig, says the Catholic church's religious interference in legislative matters is an abuse of power that Australian voters will react to.

"In Australia, people have a right to freely practice their own religion, but to impose religious beliefs about discrimination via the parliament is an attack on democracy," Senator Greig said.

"Australians want and expect their politicians to represent the people and Australian interests, not the Pope and the interests of the Vatican."

Senator Greig says most states and territories now legally recognise same sex couples to varying degrees, but the specific issue of marriage is federal law.

"With an increasing number of countries around the world legally recognising same-sex partnerships, Australia must address this issue in federal parliament," Senator Greig said.

The current lack of partnership laws for gay and lesbian couples under Commonwealth laws means that same sex couples are discriminated against within superannuation, taxation, immigration, industrial relations, social security, the defence forces, veterans affairs, the federal police, to name but a few areas.

"With increasing numbers of same sex couples raising children, it is very important that these families have the same legal protections as other families, in areas such as property settlement, family benefits, and next of kin entitlements," Senator Greig said.

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To view this Press Release, follow this Link

Date: 7/31/03 11:59:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: senator.greig@aph.gov.au [Sen. Brian Greig]