Happy state to be in

January 28, 2009 at 1:19 am Leave a comment

Yay for Queensland. The Sunshine State wants positive changes to laws, to support gay rights.  Perhaps they’re really supporting the PM, who’s from there, or y’know once we got a Federal govt with the balls to do the right thing, it was easy to fall in line. Actually, all states and territories have to amend their laws to ensure that we have the same rights as the straights according to the Same-Sex Relationships amendment acts.

The amendments are throwing up some interesting challenges for bureaucracy and same-sex couples. Policy changes are one thing, but local legislation and red tape assumptions will have to be audited and retraining for staff provided. To be fair, NSW and Commonwealth agencies have been pretty open when it comes to same-sex matters except where the law didn’t provide. As we travel forward with the law on our side, we’re unearthing, even tipping over, sacred cows.

Some of the new issues I’m learning about are states having to amend their Evidence Acts to bring in privileged spousal communication for same-sex couples just as with het couples, registering your same-sex partner and children with Medicare and Centrelink (I’m still to figure these out), and suddenly having your relationship (st8 or gay) being placed in the de facto basket – with legal effects, whether you like it or not (can you say Palimony?) -, Immigration to make allowances for foreign same-sex couples (they already do for half-aussie couples). Tell me, how does one explain same-sex martial status on the passport when travelling to a country that does not recognise same-sex rights?

Sadly though, rosy as the picture looks, it is still not easy for many to come out. The law protects but your family may step away. A recent article from LOTL notes that older lesbians may not take advantage of new benefits because coming out could adversely affect their relationship with their children. And as you know, the older we get the more precious are our family ties.

Plenty to learn, more work to do.


Entry filed under: Equity. Tags: .

Double celebration Top end job

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Evecho’s newsy bits

News, updates and links from the lesbian and publishing ‘verse that interest me, my current projects, keeping up with authors and sharing musings on middle-class life, gourmet adventures and comparisons between East/West perspectives. My opinions will likely be linearly logical and gayly bent, as they tend to be.