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The Forum > Article Comments > Whatever your relationship ... > Comments

Whatever your relationship ... : Comments

By Rodney Croome, published 19/12/2007

Tasmaniaís relationship registry isnít a substitute for same-sex marriage but a step beyond it.

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Whatever. Any form of recognition of same sex relatioships is insulting to all decent people and another nail in the coffin of civilization.
Posted by Leigh, Wednesday, 19 December 2007 8:45:21 AM
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It's a shame when decency is coopted for aggressive prejudice. Recognition of same sex relationships is hardly a precursor to civilisational decline. Nor is aggressive conservatism. The world will continue to to plod along well after your death, I assure you Leigh.
Posted by grv.campbell, Wednesday, 19 December 2007 10:36:36 AM
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Perfectly decent, perfectly happy for religious zealots to stop campaiging to discriminate. Civilisation will still stand in whatever form long past the time we as humanity mature.
Posted by Al Shield, Wednesday, 19 December 2007 11:00:35 AM
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When women got the vote, the Leighs of the world were there to tell us that civilisation was in peril.

When Copernicus revealed that the sun did not orbit the earth, it was the Leighs who called for his immolation.

No-fault divorce, legal and safe abortion, the revolution of evolutionary science, lifing of the White Australia policy...

Every time western society has succesffully moved to improve the lot of humankind, stern conservatives have stood wagging their fingers and warning that no good would come of it. But good has come of it, and will this time, too.
Posted by Sancho, Wednesday, 19 December 2007 11:00:59 AM
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Rodney Croome seems determined to have it both ways, first arguing that a relationships register is as good as marriage (must be news to those who have accidentally 'married' their carer) and then arguing that we still need gay marriage after all.

There is a world of difference between registering an interdependent relationship (as Tasmania does) and establishing a system that only accomodates those in sexual relationships and provides for a formal 'wedding' ceremony with public vows presided over by a licensed official (as the ACT seeks to do). The first is a useful way of recognising a range of interdependent relationships; the second an attempt to enact gay marriage by a territory government determined to ignore the provisions of the Marriage Act and the policy consensus of its own party.

It is possible for state law to recognise a range of relationships: marriage, de facto marriage, and interdependent significant or caring relationships. The fact that Tasmania has replaced the term 'spouse' with the term 'significant partner' is disappointing but irrelevant. Marriage is a federal government issue so a state cannot erase it. Other states seeking to enact a relationships register can do so without changing the definitions of marriage. Federal Labor has committed itself to "ensure that any such scheme of relationship registration would not mimic marriage or undermine existing laws that define marriage as being between a man and a woman."

Croome also refers to the way that the Tasmanian scheme is viewed in foreign laws. The UK does not have a system that recognises a range of interdependent relationships, so it has chosen to treat significant relationships registered under Tasmanian law as civil partnerships in UK law, ignoring those who have registered a caring relationship in Tasmania. The Tasmanian Relationships Act does not appear to recognise overseas same-sex unions, presumably because Tasmanian legislators were trying to recognise interdependent relationships, rather than homosexual unions specifically. They certainly had the opportunity to enact a reciprocal provision had they chosen to do so, as the first same-sex marriages were legalised in the Netherlands two years before Tasmania's laws were passed.
Posted by Jim Wallace, Australian Christian Lobby, Wednesday, 19 December 2007 12:35:03 PM
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Love tha neighbour Leigh
Posted by Kenny, Wednesday, 19 December 2007 12:39:54 PM
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