Group formed to support Civil Unions Bill
A Dunedin campaign group has formed to gather support for the Government's Civil Union Bill.
The 25-strong group was formed after a public meeting yesterday attracted aabout 40 people.
If passed, the bill will recognise both same-sex and heterosexual de facto relationships using wording which parallels the Marriage Act.
Both heterosexual and gay people and couples attended yesterday's meeting.
The turnout and the response was pleasing, organiser Barb Long said.
MP defies Howard over gay marriage
By TOM RICHARDSON
SOUTH Australian federal Liberal MP Trish Worth has been actively campaigning against the Howard Government's policy of banning same-sex marriages.
Ms Worth, who in May in the party room opposed a move to ban same-sex marriages because she feared it would cost her votes in her marginal seat of Adelaide, has circulated letters to constituents arguing against the legislation.
The letter brands the move "completely unnecessary and could be seen to marginalise a section of the community for no sensible reason".
"My view is that the Government does not need to take such a heavy-handed approach to an issue that . . . does not need to be fixed," she wrote.
Activists nationwide fight uphill battles against ballot initiatives
By Ethan Jacobs
Starting in August and continuing through Election Day this November, about 20 million Americans will take to the polls and vote on state constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage, according to Dave Fleischer, director of organizing and training for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). If those votes, spread across an estimated 13 states, were cast today, he said, 14 million voters would choose to ban same-sex marriage, and every single amendment would pass.
"So we'd get the crap kicked out of us," said Fleischer. "We're an underdog in every state."
For New Englanders, the prospect of a ballot initiative to write a same-sex marriage ban into the state constitution seems a long way off. Such an amendment received initial approval in the Massachusetts Legislature in March, but it must win approval again in 2005 before going before voters in 2006. There are no amendments pending in any of the other New England states. But in the rest of the country there's a different story.
"We're really facing a grave situation," said Fleischer. "We have never had a year where this large a number of places are voting [on an anti-gay ballot initiative]."