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Qld civil unions a good start, but Australia wants marriage equality

The decision by Queensland's parliament to approve civil unions is a welcome development but falls short of the marriage equality reform Australia wants, the Australian Greens said.

"The ALP should be changing its national platform, because that's the progressive thing to do," Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Australian Greens move on Russian anti-gay law, but major parties reject it

Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has today spoken out against a bill before the St Petersburg Legislature in Russia that will criminalise public discussion of LGBTI issues.

"The bill before the St Petersburg parliament represents an appalling infringement on human rights for LGBTI people," the Greens' spokesperson for sexual orientation and gender identity said.

"The bill is being presented by the ruling party in Russia. This is a party that has some history when it comes to the persecution of LGBTI people.

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Same-Sex Relationships

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (12:29): I move:
That the Senate-

(a) notes:
(i) the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg in Russia has proposed a new law which will allow authorities to impose fines for public discussion of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) issues, and
(ii) the law would undermine the right to freedom of assembly and expression for LGBTI activists and community members, and has been condemned by human rights groups worldwide, including Amnesty International; and

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Transgender Day of Remembrance

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (12:07): I, and also on behalf of Senator Pratt, move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) 20 November was Transgender Day of Remembrance,
(ii) the event began in 1999 in San Francisco in the United States of America to honour, Ms Rita Hester, who was murdered on 28 November 1998,
(iii) the annual event provides an opportunity to remember all those transgender people who have been killed in acts of anti-transgender violence;

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Sarah's urgent motion on amending the Marriage Act to achieve marriage equality

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:43): At the request of Senator Siewert, I move:
That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:

The recognition that an increasing majority of the Australian community supports marriage equality and believes it is time for the federal parliament to amend the Marriage Act to provide for this.

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Greens disappointed by Prime Minister’s anti-marriage equality stance

The Australian Greens are disappointed by Prime Minister Gillard's opinion piece on marriage equality which has appeared today, saying the Labor leader remains out of touch with the majority of Australians who believe it's simply time to give same-sex couples equal rights to marry.

"The Greens have always believed in marriage equality and were the only party to take that policy to the 2010 federal election," Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Coalition tied in knots over gay marriage

Reports that Prime Minister Julia Gillard may allow Labor MPs a conscience vote on marriage equality have given hope to those of us advocating a change to the Marriage Act so same-sex couples can tie the knot.

Rumours within the walls of Parliament suggest Ms Gillard may make an announcement as early as this week, before Labor's national conference in December.

The possibility of a free vote for ALP members again puts the spotlight on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who has ruled out letting Coalition members have a conscience vote.

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Same-Sex Relationships

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (16:05): I move:

That the Senate-
(a) notes the recent motion passed by the Tasmanian Parliament regarding same-sex marriage that stated that the House:
(i) supports marriage equality, and
(ii) calls on the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia to amend the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 to provide for marriage equality; and
(b) accepts the call for marriage equality.

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