ACT News


Candidate backs gay marriage

RIGHT-wing factional candidates for the national Labor Party presidency will support gay marriage, according to internal party communication.

It comes after Queensland Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser announced he would move a private members Bill before Christmas to have gay marriage legally recognised.

It goes against the belief of Labor's right-faction heavyweights such as Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association national secretary Joe de Bruyn.

The vocally anti-gay marriage powerbroker warns Labor faces a Queensland backlash if the party supports same-sex unions.

On Friday the group known as Rainbow Labor, which is lobbying for gay marriage and is recognised by the Victorian Labor Party, received confirmation right-faction presidency candidate, Transport Workers Union president Tony Sheldon, was in favour for same-sex marriage.

''I support marriage equality,'' said Mr Sheldon's response to Rainbow Labor, obtained by the Sunday Canberra Times.


''I believe people should be able to form their own families free from any discrimination or judgement by the state.

''I'll be participating in the campaign waged by Rainbow Labor and others to persuade the community of the merits of this reform.''

Canberra MP Gai Brodtmann, also on the Right ticket, went on the record supporting gay marriage rights when she voted in favour of same-sex marriage at the ACT Labor conference.

In her response to Rainbow Labor, she said as a member of caucus she would be bound to support the Government's position, whatever decision was made.

Mr de Bruyn said this week he had not spoken to Ms Brodtmann about her stance on gay marriage.

''I think most people will decide they don't want to change Labor Party policy on this issue,'' Mr de Bruyn said.

''The views in [one Queensland MP's electorate] are running four to one against gay marriage.''

He said Ms Brodtmann would be his No2 choice for president, behind Mr Sheldon.

Current president and Rainbow Labor member Jenny McAllister will run for the top job again. Also in the race are two other Left faction members - Queensland Senator Claire Moore and Victorian state MP Jane Garrett - and factionally non-aligned Victorian John Lannan.

The poll closes on November 18. with AAP