Page 5914 - Week 14 - Thursday, 8 December 2011

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When our law is enacted, men and women will continue to marry under the commonwealth act. Couples of any sex will continue to be able to enjoy the protections of the civil partnerships registration scheme under the Domestic Relationships Act. For the first time in our history, the territory will be able to end the discrimination against same-sex couples and provide legal recognition that is equal to marriage under territory law.

We will show by our words and actions that we have learned the lessons of history. Superficial characteristics do not determine our dreams or our potential as human beings. Sexuality does not define or characterise families, and sexuality must not determine a family’s freedoms or protections under the law. With the Civil Unions Bill, the territory will go on the record again as affirming our abhorrence of prejudice and bigotry.

I say we are gathered here today to join with the ever-growing number of people who say it is not right, not good and not just to allow continued discrimination against any human being. It is not right to discriminate against human beings on the basis of colour, and we have learned that lesson. It is not good to subject human beings to prejudice and bigotry on the basis of religion, and we have learned that lesson too. It is not just to deny human beings the freedoms and protections of the law on the basis of their sexuality. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.38): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Today I am introducing the Crimes Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, which makes amendments to the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005, the Crimes Act 1900 and the Criminal Code 2002. The bill makes two key changes to the ACT laws. The first change is the amendment to the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005, inserting a new paragraph into section 33(1), which lists the considerations to which a court must have regard at sentencing.

Currently, a sentencing court must have regard to the “personal circumstances of any victim” in the course of determining a sentence. The paragraph inserted by clause 5 of this bill adds a more specific requirement that a court also consider whether the victim was at the time of the offence providing a service to the public, placing the victim at

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