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THE Canberra Liberals have described the ACT government’s campaign, which supports marriage equality, as disrespectful.
Leader of the Opposition Alistair Coe says the Canberra Liberals don’t support the expenditure of ACT taxpayer resources, for an ACT government campaign, which advocates for either side of the debate.
Mr Coe’s comments follow an announcement by Chief Minister Andrew Barr this morning (August 17), who said the ACT government will provide additional support to Canberra’s LGBTIQ community during the Federal Government’s postal survey, as well as join and actively participate in the campaign to achieve marriage equality in Australia.
“I always have, and always will, support marriage equality. I am proud to say all ACT Labor MLAs do,” Mr Barr says.
“We will take our support to the floor of the Assembly and seek the support of other Members. We do so becauseLGBTIQ Canberrans should have the same opportunities for love, commitment and happiness as everyone else.
“As every Australian knows, the Federal Government is now intent on proceeding with a non-binding voluntary postal survey to determine the rights of same-sex attracted people.
“It is already proving to be a hurtful and divisive debate – forcing LGBTIQ Australians to endure an unnecessary debate about the validity of their relationships and families.”
Mr Coe has responded to this campaign saying the use of taxpayers’ funds to advocate for either side of this debate is wrong and is disrespectful to the diversity of views in the community.
“ACT government resources would be better spent on health, education, public safety, community services and other government services,” he says.
“Further to the inappropriate use of money, the ACT government is putting public servants in a very difficult situation.
“Will the Chief Minister, or any other Minister, assign public servants with tasks to support the ‘yes’ campaign? This is a gross politicisation of public servants.
“The Canberra Liberals support the belief that all Canberrans, regardless of their views, culture, ethnicity, faith or sexuality, should be treated with respect and that contributions to the debate should be respectful.
“The Canberra community can have a respectful debate without the ACT government needing to spend taxpayers’ money advocating for one side of the survey.”