Page 450 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 15 February 2017

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equality before the law. That group of people is the majority of Australians. It is 80 per cent of Canberrans and it is the majority of Australians.

If every other comparable country in the world can move on these issues, the fact that Australia is now far behind is a testament to our broken federal political system, a gridlock that is just unacceptable to tens of millions of Australians now. It is time for marriage equality. This debate needs to continue. The continuous struggle until we achieve it is something we must accept, but we will continue our advocacy in this place and in every forum that is available to us. I thank Mr Pettersson for moving the motion today and commend it to the Assembly.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (11.18): As others have said, Canberra stands tall as a leader in the march towards equality and true social inclusion, a fact celebrated this week with rainbow flags flying throughout our city. Successive ACT Labor governments have established a strong and proud record of support for social inclusion and equality in the territory. The ACT government has enacted reforms to extend and protect equal rights in recognition of the fact that LGBTIQ people are equal members of our community.

Whether it is the various acts that recognise same-sex relationships or other law reforms the Chief Minister has spoken about that sought to remove discrimination against the LGBTIQ community in the areas of property rights, adoption laws, and the requirements for a person to change the legal status of their sex, the ACT government has been a leader for LGBTIQ rights in our country. As Mr Pettersson outlined in his motion, we have committed to continuing this work.

As the Chief Minister has said, we have committed to the establishment of an Office of LGBTIQ Affairs and the provision of funding for the safe schools program. Legislation passed yesterday will now make recognition of overseas and interstate same-sex marriages easier. These commitments reflect our unwavering belief that all people are entitled to respect and dignity and that all people are entitled to the full protection of the law. We will stand by this belief and continue to work to ensure equality for all territorians, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

We will continue to call for marriage equality in the strongest possible terms. We will advocate for the equal recognition of same-sex relationships by the federal parliament. In doing so, we join individuals, organisations and businesses across Australia and in our own community. Corporations, unions, community groups, local governments and faith organizations and churches across the country have all made public declarations in support of marriage equality, declarations in support of the equality of love, recognising that love is love.

Canberra Airport, for example, has, for the second year, shown its true colours by illuminating the terminal in rainbow colours for the past two days. The airport is also displaying electronic signage from the Equality Campaign’s new national advertising campaign throughout the terminal from 5 to 17 February. The campaign carries an

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