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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 100..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

the only issue of remaining concern to me is that my sweet girl have the same opportunities available to her that her brothers and sisters take as a given.

She is a bright, conscientious student and I felt confident she could achieve anything she wanted in life. Now I'm worried that prejudice and conservatism may jeopardise her access to even basic choices such as forming a legally recognised relationship with someone she loves and raising children born to her, her partner or through adoption.

I am anxiously awaiting the outcome of this bill and urge you to continue your support.

Another constituent of mine in Pearce wrote to say:

I have dear friends, men and women, who are adversely affected by inequities in ACT legislation-by not having their relationships recognised, by not having access to the same services as other people, by not receiving the same support and recognition as other people.

I urge you to ensure that the government removes all discrimination against GLBTI people from ACT Laws.

Finally, I would like to share the thoughts of a doctor in the Molonglo electorate, who wrote as follows to offer congratulations and support to the government for the legislative changes:

I commend your leadership in respecting that we are all human beings, with human rights, and that discrimination is not acceptable.

Supporting the endeavours of each and every one within our community to maximise their contribution as an individual, as a partner, and if desired as a caring, parenting adult, whatever their relationship or family constellation, can ultimately only benefit us all.

Thank you for your vision and determination to contribute to a more accepting, respecting and safer community.

You hear a lot these days about how there is no real difference between the major political parties on matters of substance. I invite people to look at this debate, and the previous debate, on eliminating discrimination on grounds of sexuality or gender identity. The difference could not be more dramatic.

Labor has put forward a progressive but comprehensive package of reforms. We have sought to offer social inclusion, respect, acceptance, tolerance and hope to a group of Canberrans who have previously been treated very badly. The Liberals have opposed it at every stage. They play the politics of intolerance and exclusion. They have perpetrated a fraud on the people of Canberra. They can no longer credibly call themselves liberals; they are now the big "C"Conservatives. The small "l"liberal wing of the Liberal Party is well and truly dead.

In conclusion, I thought it worthwhile to share the observations of the UK social commentator Brian Whitaker, who wrote in the Guardian newspaper in April last year

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