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ACT and Australia want marriage equality, not merely civil unions

The ACT government's decision to reintroduce legislation on civil union laws is another positive development, but falls short of marriage equality reforms Australians want at the federal level, the Australian Greens said today.

"Real reform will be made when the federal parliament passes marriage equality legislation, which will send a signal that same-sex couples are not considered under federal law as second-class citizens," Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Protect Indonesian children by banning x-ray use

The Home Affairs Minister should have told the Indonesian government that Australian authorities were immediately scrapping wrist x-rays to determine the ages of asylum seeker boat crew, the Greens said today.

"The Greens have a bill before parliament to change the laws so children are not detained and wrist x-rays cannot be used," Greens' immigration and children spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Pressure on Abbott over marriage equality

The Australian Greens say remarks by Malcolm Turnbull and Barry O'Farrell on a conscience vote for marriage equality is further proof Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, should allow a free vote.

"If the Coalition sticks with Tony Abbott's outdated policy of marriage being between a man and a woman, opposition members should be allowed a conscience vote," Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Labor lurches to the right and loses touch

Opening the Labor Party conference, Julia Gillard told her party faithful she wanted the ALP to be the party that says "yes to the future".

Yet the Prime Minister spent the next three days advocating for the resurrection of the old, tired conservative policies of John Howard. On policies covering asylum seekers, uranium and same-sex marriage, Labor's leader backed the stance of the former ultra-conservative Liberal prime minister.

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New survey shows 80% want Abbott to give Coalition MPs a conscience vote on marriage equality

The Australian Greens say the unstoppable drive for marriage equality continues with a new Galaxy poll showing 80 percent of respondents want the Coalition to have a free vote on it in parliament.

The survey conducted for Australians for Marriage Equality also shows 76 percent of Coalition supporters would back their MPs having a conscience vote.

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Greens to seize momentum on marriage equality

The Australian Greens have announced today they will reintroduce their marriage equality bill into both houses of parliament when sittings resume in early 2012.

Seizing on the momentum of the ALP's decision on marriage equality, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young invited both Labor and Liberal members to co-sign her bill.

"Marriage equality and fairness for all is about love and should be above politics," the Greens' marriage equality spokesperson said.

"With support from members from all sides, I believe these bills can pass in time for the spring wedding season."

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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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Greens call on government to take urgent action to protect sex-trafficked women

The Australian Greens say the Four Corners investigation into sex trafficking shows the government must act immediately to protect vulnerable women who risk deportation.

"I will be writing to the Immigration Minister and Home Affairs Minister  today requesting that this matter be given urgent consideration to these women so they can get out of sexual slavery," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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