On 23 June 2004, the Senate referred the above Bill to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 7 October 2004.
The Bill seeks to:
- amend the Marriage Act 1961 to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life; and to confirm that unions solemnised overseas between same sex couples will not be recognised as marriages in Australia; and
- amend the Family Law Act 1975 to prevent intercountry adoptions by same sex couples under multilateral or bilateral agreements or arrangements.
Latham has mucked this issue up completely. Labor voted in favour of the bill in the House. They did not need to. A Senate inquiry was always the best way to deal with this issue. Dorothy Mcrae-McMahon asked legitimate questions today, of Latham as well as Howard:
"Why on earth would heterosexual people be so nervous about us threatening their relationships?" she said.
"If families are in trouble at the moment, it's none of our doing.
"It's related to all sorts of complex situations and issues which lie with heterosexual relationships today and, to some extent, with ours as well."