Saturday, 11 November 2017

UN scathing over no marriage equality in Australia & postal survey

Care vandalised in Canberra for having rainbow flag
The United Nations Human Rights Committee has castigated Australia (among other things including Manus Island) over the lack of movement on marriage equality. In particular it takes aim at the change in the law in 2004 by John Howard to specifically exclude LGBT people from the marriage act. I don't think you could get any clearer than "Marriage is between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others" as being directly discriminatory to us.

They're  also deeply unimpressed with the marriage postal survey that's just been done, saying that it's no way to decide human rights. Also that whatever the results Australia should legislate immediately to bring about equality.

How long before the No people start accusing the UN of bullying them?
“The Committee is concerned about the explicit ban on same-sex marriage in the Marriage Act 1961 that results in discriminatory treatment of same-sex couples, including in matters related to divorce of couples who married overseas,” the UNHRC report read. 

“While noting that the State party is currently taking a voluntary, non-binding postal survey on the legalisation of same-sex marriage, the Committee is of the view that resort to public opinion polls to facilitate upholding rights under the Covenant in general, and equality and non-discrimination of minority groups in particular, is not an acceptable decision-making method. 

 “Such an approach risks further marginalising and stigmatising members of minority groups.” 

The UNCHR states Australia should revise its laws “irrespective of the results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey” to ensure “all its laws and policies afford equal protection to LGBTI persons, couples and families”. 

Human Rights Law Centre director of legal advocacy Anna Brown echoed the findings, saying “Australia is drawing international attention for all the wrong reasons”. 

“The UN has tonight confirmed what Australian politicians should already know – human rights should not be put to a majority vote,” Ms Brown said in a statement. “Australia needs to do its job and vote on a bill to deliver equality and dignity for LGBTI couples across the country.” The New Daily