We are the peak body for unions here in Tasmania as well as the local branch of the ACTU. We represent around fifty thousand union members, across the private and public sectors. No matter your occupation or profession, there is a union for you in Tasmania. 

The Tasmanian union movement works every day towards building a better society for everyone. We believe that workers and their families are entitled to live in a decent and civil society that values fairness and equality – where everyone is afforded the opportunity to succeed.

We campaign in workplaces, in the community and in the political and political arena to affect change that raises the living standards of workers and their families. We campaign for rights at work, for decent pay, for positive social change and for workplace health and safety.

My vision for the union movement is that we are united and growing so that workers have the collective power to win on the issues that matter to them. We aim to lift the profile of unions in Tasmania so that we are a movement our members are proud of and a movement that potential members want to join.

Jessica Munday

My view that there is no such thing as heterosexual,  lesbian or homosexual relationships.  There are only relationships.

I was at the university of Tasmania last week and made my views on the subject publically known to those that attended.

I find the same sex marriage debate or as I like to term it - marriage equality - frustrating on two fronts, one is religious and the other political.

I was born a catholic but choose to no longer practice, in fact I find the whole church as an institution pretty hard to take.  As a person who spent the first six years of school having religion forced upon me I still cannot accept the arguments from Christian groups in support of their position.

How does the Christian faith condemn marriage equality while continuing to defend the monsters that exist within their own ranks.  They say marriage equality undermines the rights of children but defend and hide those that most undermine the security and wellbeing of our children. The conflict in their position could hardly be more stark.

Does the marriage of a heterosexual couple demand higher “rights” than the overriding concept of equality for all?  How does heterosexual marriage have more importance than that between two people of the same sex, other than for some bazar historic reasons?  Marriage should be based on love and respect, irrespective of gender.

The percentage of heterosexual marriages that end in separation or divorce continues to grow.  The number of people that participate in traditional Christian religions continue to fall.  I think Christian churches are out of touch with the modern community. It time for them to wake up to themselves.

On the political front the ALP federal  representatives in Tasmania continue to be split on the issue. 

Notably, Senators Helen Polley and Catryna Bilyk (and perhaps others) oppose marriage equality but continue to receive the support of the broader party to represent us in Canberra. 

The Tasmanian ALP has a firm policy position which supports marriage equality, endorsed again at the 2011 ALP StateConference.

Why do the Senators continue to receive the support of Tasmanian ALP members when they fail to comply with the wishes of the majority of party members on this issue?

In recent months the factions cut a deal which resulted in Senator Bilyk holding on to the number two position on the Senate ticket, a safe position. 

While I know this outcome does not have the support of the majority of Left members, it is the position of the few that control the faction.  What this means in affect is that members of the Left faction, who overwhelmingly have the votes to control preselections and support marriage equality, continue to support a Senator (or two) that oppose marriage equality where it matters most, in Canberra.

Why did this happen.  Elected politicians have a an inbuilt “protection” mentality where they protect each other irrespective of policy position. “You don’t attack my spot and I won’t attack yours”  it’s all very comfy.

What is it with the ALP that we allow politicians once elected to have a “right” to hold their seat until they are ready to give it up, even if they do not reflect the wishes of the majority of the party, or the broader community for that matter.

The Left in Tasmania has an opportunity to make sure we maximise our influence on the marriage equality issue by demanding that our federal politicians represent the interests of the Tasmanian party membership in Canberra.  That is support marriage equality, or stand aside.

The question is, will we have the courage to make sure it happens? 


# MsNicole Wells 2012-05-24 08:52
I only wish enough other people had the guts to say it as it is. Well done Kevin for attempting to get the debate going on this issue. However I fear those within the Left faction in Tasmania will to trod on from a great height if they dare utter what they truly think.
# Only vote for people that fight for party policiesModern Labor, When? 2012-05-24 11:22
It is a crazy system. MPs elected as representatives of the ALP should respect and support the democratic policies of the ALP. Some current MPs not only disregard the current policy but are actively fighting against it. I understand that deciding what people should be supported as the party's representatives should not just be based on one issue. But surely, even on rare occasions, they cant support current policies MPs should be marked way down if they are actively fighting against policy outside the party. And anyway the people who have a vote on this (the members of the party) should not just appoint people because they are already there. The people who do vote (and I understand a majority are left) have to justify their vote that they are helping elect the best people to represent the ALP for today and tomorrow. Anything else not only undermines the democratic process but also undermines why alp members and the broader community get disillusioned with the ALP.

At the moment Federally we have the conservatives and the ALP Prime Minister supporting discrimination based on sexual preference ... no wonder people looking for a progressive voice are heading towards the Greens. We know that Abbot will never support equal rights so it is up to ALP members to elect representatives (at all levels) that do. And it annoys me that much that I will no longer vote for people that discriminate so badly and hope more ALP supporters follow this as well, including not voting for Bilyk or Polley and hoping that Gillard is replaced by someone that will represent progressive Australia.
# Vote for ChangeVote for change 2012-05-24 12:54
Agree about voting for people who represent your own views. Let us know who the factional leaders are that support elected reps over the vast majority of the membership and if any of them are MPs I suggest not voting for them either.

Seeing how strong Penny Wong feels about the issue ... how disappointing would it be for her, and her family, to have a leader that won't support her on such an important issue. The worry about Gillard is does she really believe same sex couples shouldn't be able to marry or is just a seemingly pragmatic position in a hope not to lose religious votes, if the later that is unforgivable.
# Save us from small minded twits.Luke 2012-06-02 15:06
Why do we even have to continue having this ridiculous debate? All people are equal and all people should have equal rights, whether we are talking about gays, women, poor, races etc.

As for the Catholic Church - I was raised and schooled as a Roman Catholic and it's a great way to stuff up one's ability to think rationally and compassionately . Thankfully I escaped the RC clutches in my teens and was fortunate enough to salvage some part of brain so that I could actually think for myself in later life.
# The Universal Value of FamilyL’Osservatore Romano 2012-06-02 21:43
2012-06-01 (Sydney)

In today's society there is great need to rediscover the meaning and purpose of marriage and the importance of family, says the religious sister who chose the name Sr Giovanni Farquer, Director of the Archdiocese of Sydney's Commission for Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations, regarding the political debate on marriage in Australia.

“The family”, she explained, “is the place where life is received and nurtured as a gift, where children are able to grow into the full knowledge and experience of their own humanity and call to love God and others”. Sr Giovanni Farquer quoted Pope Benedict XVI's who said that “the family founded on marriage, is the 'patrimony of humanity', a fundamental social institution; it is the vital cell and pillar of society and this concerns believers and non-believers alike”.

According to the nun, with the legalization of same-sex marriage at the centre of the Australian political agenda and the ability of same sex couples to legally adopt children, the traditional concept of marriage and the family, and their importance in creating a well-functionin g and stable society, are frequently overlooked. “The strength and freedom of our society has been built on the family - upon the faithful and fruitful love of married couples, blessed, encouraged and affirmed by our faiths”, underlined Sr Giovanni, who believes that one of the legacies shared by all three of the great Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Islam and Christianity is the enduring meaning and nature of marriage and the family. “Marriage as a union between a man and a woman”, she stated, “is a natural and deeply human truth, but one which is more richly understood in the light of faith”.
# Senator Helen Polley upholds Christian ValuesChristian Values 2012-06-02 21:55
The Australian Christian Values Institute believes that Australian values are Christian values. These are the values that made Australia great. The preamble to Australia's Constitution says, "Humbly relying on the blessings of Almighty God". Alfred Deakin, one of the fathers of Australia's Constitution and Australia's second Prime Minister, offered the following prayer after theConstitution was finally ratified. "We pray that it may be the means of creating and fostering throughout all Australia a Christ-like Citizenship."

The vision of the Australian Christian Values Institute is to reaffirm Australia's commitment to Judeo-Christian values as the cornerstone of our nation's prosperity for the common good. The Australian Christian Values Institute, along with other pro-family groups, has given Christian Values Awards to parliamentarian s in Federal Parliament since 2004.

2008 Christian Values Awards:
Senator Eric Abetz – Representing Tasmania
Senator Helen Polley – Representing Tasmania

Senator Polley is to be commended for upholding good Christian Values.
# It Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil RightThe American TFP: 5 2012-06-04 20:44
Homosexual activists argue that same-sex “marriage” is a civil rights issue similar to the struggle for racial equality in the
1960s. This is false.

First of all, sexual behavior and race are essentially different realities. A man and a woman wanting to marry may be different
in their characteristics : one may be black, the other white; one rich, the other poor; or one tall, the other short.
None of these differences are insurmountable obstacles to marriage. The two individuals are still man and woman, and thus
the requirements of nature are respected.

Same-sex “marriage” opposes nature. Two individuals of the same sex, regardless of their race, wealth, stature, erudition
or fame, will never be able to marry because of an insurmountable biological impossibility.

Secondly, inherited and unchangeable racial traits cannot be compared with non-genetic and changeable behavior. There
is simply no analogy between the interracial marriage of a man and a woman and the “marriage” between two individuals of
the same sex.
# It Validates and Promotes the Homosexual LifestyleThe American TFP: 4 2012-06-04 20:47
In the name of the “family,” same-sex “marriage” serves to validate not only such unions but the whole homosexual
lifestyle in all its bisexual and transgender variants.

Civil laws are structuring principles of man’s life in society. As such, they play a very important and sometimes decisive role
in influencing patterns of thought and behavior. They externally shape the life of society, but also profoundly modify everyones
perception and evaluation of forms of behavior.

Legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” would necessarily obscure certain basic moral values, devalue traditional marriage,
and weaken public morality.
# It Always Denies a Child Either a Father or a MotherThe American TFP - 3 2012-06-04 20:50
It is in the childs best interests that he be raised under the influence of his natural father and mother. This rule is confirmed
by the evident difficulties faced by the many children who are orphans or are raised by a single parent, a relative, or a
foster parent.

The unfortunate situation of these children will be the norm for all children of a same-sex “marriage.” A child of a
same-sex “marriage” will always be deprived of either his natural mother or father. He will necessarily be raised by one party
who has no blood relationship with him. He will always be deprived of either a mother or a father role model.

Same-sex “marriage” ignores a childs best interests.
# It Violates Natural LawThe American TFP - 2 2012-06-04 21:59
Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus
governed by natural law.

Natural laws most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Thus, he can know the end or purpose of each of his acts and
how it is morally wrong to transform the means that help him accomplish an act into the acts purpose. Any situation which institutionaliz es the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality.

Being rooted in human nature, natural law is universal and immutable. It applies to the entire human race, equally. It commands and forbids consistently, everywhere and always. Saint Paul taught in the Epistle to the Romans that the natural law is inscribed on the heart of every man. (Rom. 2:14-15)
# It Is Not MarriageThe American TFP - 1 2012-06-04 22:01
Calling something marriage does not make it marriage.

Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and
education of children and the unity and wellbeing of the spouses.

The promoters of same-sex “marriage” propose something entirely different. They propose the union between two men or
two women. This denies the self-evident biological, physiological, and psychological differences between men and women
which find their complementarity in marriage. It also denies the specific primary purpose of marriage: the perpetuation of
the human race and the raising of children.

Two entirely different things cannot be considered the same thing.
# Maybe its better than marriage?luke 2012-06-05 09:30
Well I may have the solution to this dilemma. Marriage (male vs female) conducted for the sole purpose of reproducing humans. Marriage (person + person) Conducted for the sole purpose of love and care. Would that work?

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