Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1073 ..
MR STEFANIAK(5.36): We have seen those amendments, and they are identical. They have the support of the Assembly and we do not have a significant problem with that. In respect of the bill as a whole, whilst there are many things in this bill which probably make things a lot fairer-and that is certainly something the opposition has absolutely no problem with-we want to ensure there is no discrimination.
We feel quite strongly on two points. Firstly, we note the considerable amount of angst, and correspondence, there has been on this issue. We attempted to send the bill to a committee. I think that would have been preferable, given the concern of the community, but that was unsuccessful. We then tried to address the main concerns expressed by many people in our community in relation to this bill-that is, to get good, proper definitions into the bill.
I am not going to reflect on a vote of the Assembly but we clearly sought to amend and define, basically, domestic partnership and the three main types of relationships there-namely a legal marriage, a de facto relationship between opposite sexes and, effectively, a de facto relationship between single sex people. There is no discrimination in that. There are clearly three distinct types of domestic partnerships which I believe reflect the realities of the city in which we live.
It is sad that we were unsuccessful there. I think many people in our community are worried, rightly or wrongly, as a result of that. It is for that reason, Mr Speaker, in relation to that crucial part of this bill, which is the proper definition of relationships, that the opposition will not be able to support the bill.
Remainder of bill, as amended, agreed to.
That this Bill, as amended, be agreed to.
The Assembly voted-
Ayes, 11 Noes, 6
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Bill, as amended, agreed to.
Discrimination Amendment Bill 2002 (No 2)Debate resumed from 10 March 2003, on motion by Mr Stanhope: