Ruddock should get out of people’s bedrooms

CLA says Attorney-General Philip Ruddock should get his spying eyes out of people’s bedrooms and not interfere with new civil union laws in the ACT

Media release 30 March 2006


CLA calls on Ruddock to get out of people’s bedrooms, and let democracy work

Civil Liberties Australia said today AttorneyGeneral
Philip Ruddock should get his spying eyes out of people’s bedrooms and not interfere with new civil union laws in the ACT.

“The man who has failed for four years to get David Hicks out of Guantanamo Bay should have much more to do than try to regulate individual people’s choice of their partner,” CLA president Dr Kris Klugman said today.

“Australia’s ‘first law officer’ should also be extremely wary of overturning the decisions of democratically elected governments, or he will be demonstrating to Australians that overthrowing government laws legally passed is acceptable practice.

“If Mr Ruddock thinks it is legitimate for him to overturn an ACT law, he must agree it would be legitimate for Australians to demonstrate overturning some of his new laws is also legitimate.

“People who vote are the power in Australia. That’s alled ‘democracy’, Mr Ruddock.

‘Petty potentates in luxury hilltop bunkers, like Mr Ruddock, are far removed from an understanding of Australian society.

“Let the people live, Mr Ruddock. Get out of their way,” Dr Klugman said.

“Let democracy work. If a democratically elected government passes legal laws, why should any pumpedup Federal politician be able to quibble and wrangle and say he alone can decide what the law should be?

“What do your own children think of your actions, Mr Ruddock? Ask them, because they probably live and think in the 21 st century.”

The ACT’s Civil Union Bill, which formally recognises relationships between same sex couples, has been drawn up after extensive community consultation and has widespread support in the ACT.

Civil Unions are not marriage, but afford the partners equal rights, Dr Klugman said.

“Instead of trying to overrule good law, Mr Ruddock should pass laws that give samesex couples equal rights in areas where he has some responsibility, like superannuation.

“Do your own job, Mr Ruddock. Don’t try to overrule other people doing theirs,” she said.

Civil Liberties Australia (ACT) strongly supports the ACT government initiative, and vehemently rejects the federal government’s vetoing it.

“Fairminded people support equal rights for same sex couples. As with the Human Rights Act, ACT is showing the way to the rest of Australia with enlightened legislation” Dr Klugman, said.

“What we should be debating is removing any possibility that the Federal Government can overturn democratic Territory legislation – that’s the real issue Mr Ruddock’s unfortunate intervention has raised.”

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