Friday, December 22, 2006

DLP whoops

You can recall this post of mine about the election of a member of the DLP to the Victorian Parliament. Thus I was rather surprised to read in the Melbourne papers that the DLP's MP was prepared to back gay unions. The Age led with this:
INCREASED rights for gay couples in Victoria could be a step closer after the Democratic Labor Party said it would support measures to decrease same-sex discrimination.

In his first interview since entering the Victorian Parliament, Peter Kavanagh, the DLP's first Victorian MP in almost 50 years, told The Age he would push for gay couples to have their relationships recognised and be given the same property and inheritance rights as heterosexuals.

And the Herald Sun this:
AUSTRALIA'S first DLP Member of Parliament in 50 years, Victoria's Peter Kavanagh, would support law changes allowing gay people to register their relationships.
The shock announcement -- designed to dispel the notion that the DLP is ultra-conservative -- comes as Mr Kavanagh begins finding his feet in Victoria's Upper House, where he holds a share of the balance of power.

"I'm not anti-gay, particularly," the 47-year-old former barrister and schoolteacher said, "provided we retain a special place for traditional marriage . . . if it is necessary to change the law to avoid exploitation in a gay relationship, or to help with superannuation or to end unfair discrimination, then I would support it."

The DLP was quick to try and get the point straight and within a coupel of hours I had received a copy of the DLP's media release... three times. It starts off with:
The Democratic Labor Party (DLP) is outraged and has moved immediately to issue a clear and definite statement on the party’s stand against legislating for same sex unions, following erroneous reports today that Peter Kavanagh, the party’s newly elected Member of the Victorian Legislative Council had expressed support for civil unions and the registration of same sex relationships.

The reports arising from a press interview given by Mr Kavanagh yesterday are completely misleading and have misrepresented the DLP position, according to a party spokesman.

Party secretary, John Mulholland, said, “DLP members have reacted to the reports believing they were intended to damage support for the DLP. It is not easy for our members to see this as anything less than deliberate, given the extent of erroneous reporting and the anti-DLP tone of earlier press comment on the party’s success in the State election”.

John Mulholland has blamed journalists responsible for the reports, for “twisting Mr Kavanagh’s words” to maximise the “shock value” they have been able to generate in the media. He said “it looks very much like it was intended to leave the public confused about where the DLP stands”.

Mr Mulholland said:
“The DLP does not support the legal recognition, in any form whatever, of the (same sex) relationships referred to in these reports”.

“The DLP recognises that where injustices to individuals in these relationships occur, just as they occur to individuals in any other kind of relationship they may warrant legislative attention, for example, in regard to property and inheritance rights”.

“But this is merely to recognise the individual rights of the persons involved in same sex relationships, wherever the injustices or inequities occur”.

“It is by no means to give any form of legal standing or recognition to their relationships per se. The DLP and the broad membership of the party are emphatic on this distinction”.

Guess the guy is new to politics... remember Barnaby Joyce and his first week or two?


LYL said...

to have their relationships recognised and be given the same property and inheritance rights as heterosexuals.

Has Kavanagh said anything contrary to the social teaching of the Church here?

As far as I can tell from the excerpts you've included, it just looks like he's talking about issues relating to the just distribution of goods and, presumably, the ability of gay people to visit their seriously ill partners in hospital etc.

He does make it clear that marriage, as traditionally understood, should be preserved.


The Ahe said "he would push". It depends where you put the emphasis. Firstly, why would you a good Catholic "push" for such a thing? If a piece of legislation came up I would consider it on merit but I wouldn't be the one introducing the bill - that normally implies a massive belief in something and something that is close to your heart. It's about terminology.

Secondly, I'm not the one criticising his points, urely making an observation that he is a political noivce who needs to learn about the media fast.

LYL said...

I know that was the point you were making Aaron and maybe you're right. Mind you, I think most people are at the mercy of the media - in the end, they say what they want.

I'm not sure I'd believe anything The Age ever said! But if that's what Kavanagh said then it would suggest he thinks it's an important issue, so I see what you're saying there.

Anonymous said...

The Liberal Party supports legislation to recognise the fianncial affairs of homosexuals.
Why don't you mention that side of politics?

Archeopterix said...

yeah, sure. The Idolent one should trawl through every policy decision, idea and motion of every member of parliament and party just so he presents complete view? Seriously, get over yourself anonymous. If IS simply wants to focus on an ironic issue for his own reason then deal with it.