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Senator Hanson-Young's Winter Newsletter 2012

So far it has been a busy year for the Australian Greens. We have seen the transition from the inspiring leadership of Bob Brown to inspirational Christine Milne, negotiated 165 million for dental health, and had a Senate Inquiry into my Marriage Equality (amendment) Bill 2010 strongly recommended that the legislation be passed into law, to name a few. To find out more and to catch up on what I have been up to this year in the Australian Senate, click on the attachment below.

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An historic day in the Senate

Dear friend,

What an historic day it has been today in the Australian Senate.

The last parliamentary sitting week before the midwinter break has seen your Greens team continue to achieve great outcomes for all Australians who want a cleaner, healthier, smarter and fairer society.

A short time ago I walked into the Senate to vote into law Australia's biggest ever public investment in clean and renewable energy - and one of the great achievements of the Greens in this parliament in building a clean energy economy.

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Senate inquiry backs Greens' marriage equality bill and wants it passed into law

A Senate inquiry has today backed the Greens' Marriage Equality (amendment) Bill 2010 and given the parliament clear direction on how and why the law must be amended.

"Today is an historic one for many Australian same-sex couples, their families and friends who have wanted their parliament to know why marriage equality matters," Greens' human rights spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"They told us they feel like second class citizens, that their mental health has been impaired because their love is still not treated equally under Australia's civil marriage law.

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Census shows more than 2,600 same-sex Australians married overseas because they can't at home

Data from Census 2011 shows more than 1,300 Australian same-sex couples identified as being married last year, indicating they had to tie the knot overseas rather than in Australia, the Greens said today.

"More than 2,600 Australians believe in marriage so much they've travelled abroad because same-sex weddings cannot be performed in Australia," Greens' human rights spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Qld govt actions to weaken rights shows need for federal marriage equality reforms

The Newman government has taken the extraordinary step of beginning to remove the rights of some of its citizens through its introduction of amendments to the Civil Partnerships Act and related legislation, the Australian Greens said today.

"The Greens are appalled that a state government would crumble to the Australian Christian Lobby's demands and start to legislate to weaken the relationships of same-sex couples," Greens' human rights spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Marriage equality: the time has come

Dear friend,

Australia is ready for marriage equality. The community understands that it's an issue of basic fairness. Parliament starts debating our laws to end this discrimination today. It's an issue that's found its time.

But Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are standing in the way.

We've just launched a new push to see the end of marriage discrimination by the end of the year - you might have seen it on the news last night.

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Qld Premier's action shows why federal Marriage Act needs to be reformed

Campbell Newman's decision to amend civil unions for same-sex couples is another example why the federal Marriage Act needs to be reformed, the Australian Greens said today.

"While many Queenslanders feared the worst that Premier Newman would take away their rights, the truth is they never should have been put in that position," Greens' human rights spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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NSW Coalition makes history by backing marriage equality, setting precedent for Mr Abbott to grant a conscience vote

The New South Wales Coalition has shown the leadership that Tony Abbott lacks by letting upper house members have a conscience vote on a marriage equality motion, the Australian Greens said today.

"The unstoppable push for giving same-sex couples the choice whether to get married has taken a giant leap in Sydney, putting more pressure on Mr Abbott to grant the Coalition a free vote in Canberra," Greens' human rights spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Abbott should follow leadership of NSW Coalition on marriage equality

Liberal Party leader, Tony Abbott, should follow the leadership of the NSW Coalition and let his federal MPs have a free vote on marriage equality legislation due before Parliament this year, the Australian Greens said today.

"I was encouraged to follow the debate in the NSW Parliament where Coalition MPs said they supported marriage equality because they were conservatives, not in spite of it," Greens' human rights spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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