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John Passant

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September 2013



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



A.C.T. to introduce same sex marriage

Continue the fight

On Thursday the minority Labor government in the Australian Capital Territory will introduce legislation to legalise same sex marriage.

It will pass, probably in October, with the vote of Greens minister Shane Rattenbury giving the Bill majority support of 9 in the 17 seat Assembly. It is likely all 8 Liberals will oppose it.

In 2006 the ACT Legislative Assembly passed civil union laws, only to see the Howard Federal Government overturn them. The difference is, thanks to Bob Brown, that now to overturn any Territory law the Federal government has to win the support of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Previously all that was needed was for the Howard government to advise the Governor-General to disallow a Territory law. That old law was used to overturn the civil unions law, but it will be much harder for an Abbott government to get the support of both the House and the Senate (including some in its own ranks) to overturn any Territory same sex law.

There will be no residence requirement meaning that couples from other States and Territories, indeed from other countries,  can marry in the ACT.

Of course, while these marriage ceremonies will be a moving and loving experience, the reality is that no other State or Territory, or the Commonwealth, currently recognises them. Further, without Commonwealth recognition it means that these marriages will remain second class because the normal Commonwealth legal benefits flowing from marriage will still be denied to same sex couples.

Nevertheless this is a  first, great step forward for the Equal Love campaign. It shows that the concept – equal love irrespective of sexual orientation – can be won.  But because there is much more to be won, it also shows that the fight for equal love must continue. The finish line is in sight; some distance away for sure but in sight.

The Liberal government in New South Wales for example will introduce similar equal love legislation later this year and its passage in the ACT will influence supporters there. Other States might then join the push for equality, leaving the last bastion of reaction the Commonwealth under Abbott. Even that outpost could fall to the forces of equality if we put enough pressure on.

Equal love is only on the agenda, and the ACT government is only introducing this legislation because for the last decade activists have been campaigning and demonstrating for it and drawing in more and more people to support the struggle.  They have turned around community support from a large minority to a large majority for equal love.

They didn’t do that by being too polite and playing the respectability game. They did it by shouting out loud and clear for equal love.

The ACT legislation will be an important victory. It should spur us on to fight for full equality, for equal love, across Australia.

That might mean for example mobilisations across Australia if the Abbott government moves to disallow the legislation. And it will certainly mean building big demonstrations when the bigots challenge the laws in the High Court.

Come along to the next rally for Marriage Equality in Canberra at 1 pm on Saturday 5 October in Petrie Plaza.

Yes to marriage equality; no to Abbott's bigotry


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