Posts tagged ‘Australian same-sex rights’

Haz dey dun it?

The Stanhope government in the ACT might’ve found the loophole that will force the federal government to act, instead of passively recognising same-sex relationships.

After several high-profile attempts to secure and allow same-sex marriages/civil unions in the ACT which were knocked back by two federal governments, the ACT yesterday passed legislation cheekily recognising same-sex civil unions that have been legally officiated, while denying the same to heterosexual couples as they already have the Marriage Act (Cth). Guess who’s not happy?

Background: The ACT or Australian Capital Territory is one of several areas in Australia that fall under federal rule, as compared to states which are semi-sovereign in their own right, but it is the only self-governing capital territory.

Also in Australia, homosexuals have all the same rights, obligations and benefits as heterosexuals, except for ‘marriage’. In my view, marriage is redundant when all else is equal.


November 12, 2009 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Green means Go

The Australian Greens Party today introduced a Marriage Equality Amendment Bill to give same-sex couples marriage rights.  The bill will have to repeal the stupid amendment to the Marriage Act made by the Howard Govt (and supported by the then opposition head) in 2004 that restricted marriage to hets only.

Go the Greens!

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June 25, 2009 at 12:08 pm Leave a comment

Happy state to be in

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.

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

Australia LGBT WIN!

Information below totally and gratefully gacked from the GLRL newsletter. Thank you to everyone who lent a hand or passed the word. For your reading pleasure, here are the second reading speeches in the Senate (PDF) on the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws – General Law Reform) Bill 2008. So we didn’t get the M-word, no worries. It’ll happen. Kudos to the Rudd government for fulfilling its election mandate.

58 ‘08 Campaign Win:
Same-Sex Reforms Pass


Australian Parliament passes reforms granting equality to same-sex couples and their children.

Highlights from Parliament:

The last family I wish to refer to in support of this legislation is one that is very close to home—my own family… Coming from a country town, it was difficult to come out of the closet but that is what my youngest brother did. … I hope that one day my darling brother, Nick, will be the beneficiary of the legislative changes we have placed before the House. The Hon Graham Perrett (Member for Morton). House of Representatives, 4 June 2008.

I have lived long enough as a gay member of the Australian community to have seen enormous changes: from the period when it was a crime, at least for male homosexuals, to have a loving relationship, which was punishable by many years in jail, to this historic day, where discrimination on the basis of sexuality is being removed from the statute books by the parliament. I congratulate all parties who are contributing and who have worked so hard towards this. Senator Bob Brown, Senate, 12 November 2008.

I am very pleased with the substantive legal equality for couples irrespective of the gender, identity or sexuality of couples that this bill implements. However, personally, I hope that one day there is a majority in this parliament to remove discrimination against all couples in relation to marriage. Senator Louise Pratt, Senate, 12 November 2008.


58 ’08 Campaign Comes to a Close

The Australian Parliament has finally passed the same-sex reform bills, granting equality to same-sex de facto couples and their children in almost all areas of federal law. The changes ensure equal treatment of same-sex couples with opposite-sex de facto couples in areas including taxation, superannuation, Medicare, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, social security, aged care, family law and child support, migration, veterans’ and defence entitlements, and workers’ compensation.

The passage of the reforms brings the GLRL’s 58 ‘08 campaign to a close. During the court of the campaign, over 1,000 personal stories of discrimination and letters of support for the reforms were delivered to the Commonwealth Attorney-General. In the lead up to the Senate debate on the reforms, the GLRL presented select politicians with a heart-felt selection of the letters in a collected titled, Australian Love Letters.

“The 58 ‘08 campaign will go down in the Lobby’s history as one of its biggest and most influential campaigns. The campaign has seen over a thousand people write in support of the reforms which has armed Lobby representatives with heartfelt and real stories to present in our meetings with politicians and policy-makers,” said GLRL Spokesperson, Peter Johnson.

“Thank you to the hundreds of Australians who responded to our call to send a letter to the Attorney-General demanding equality in 58 laws by the end of 2008. You ensured the Rudd Government kept its word, and helped secure cross-party support for this reform,” added Johnson.

Want more information? The GLRL will be launching an education campaign on the new changes in the New Year funded by the City of Sydney. The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department has also launched a website with some information on the changes.



December 9, 2008 at 2:31 pm 2 comments

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.