Greenwich calls on Labor leadership contenders to support ACT gay marriage
Sydney Independent MP, Alex Greenwich, has sent an open letter to Labor leadership contenders, Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese, asking for their commitment to territory rights and marriage equality.
Greenwich says the Labor party has an opportunity to shine in opposition, and to re-build in a way that empowers the grassroots of the party through the assertion of strong Labor values.
“The ACT Labor Government has introduced legislation that will allow loving and committed same-sex couples to marry in the nation's capital,” says Greenwich. “Federal Labor has the opportunity to safe-guard these laws by joining the Greens in blocking any Federal Government intervention.”
Greenwich says he is concerned at the Labor part response to these laws, with both Albanese and Shorten saying they will consider blocking federal intervention.
“Labor went to the election with an explicit written promise not to interfere with state and territory laws on same-sex marriage, and in government the Labor Party did not directly interfere with any territory legislation.
“Tony Abbott has no mandate to overturn territory laws, but the Labor opposition has a mandate to protect them.”
Greenwich believes Labor’s role in opposition is to hold the government accountable.
“The thousands of same-sex couples who will likely marry in the ACT deserve the certainty that their marriage will be safe,” comments Greenwich.
He concludes his letter by suggesting both Shorten and Albanese can assuage same sex couple’s fears by declaring they will insist on a binding vote to protect the ACT’s right to legislate.
“Should you commit to blocking an intervention bill, this will have a discouraging effect on any Abbott Government plans. We know that this is not a priority for the new government, and if it is losing battle in the Senate it is possible Tony Abbott will probably not bother to proceed."