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2 Jun 2008

Australia same-sex pension law reform stalled

It may have been a long time coming but the long awaited reform to allow same-sex couples to inherit each other's superannuation or pension may be further stalled despite being slated to take effect from July 1.

Following the federal government threats to quash any legislation that resembled traditional marriage, the long awaited-reform to allow same-sex couples to inherit each other's superannuation or pension could be delayed until after their proposed July 1 start date.

Download Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's Community Guide to the National Inquiry into Discrimination against People in Same-Sex Relationships: Financial and Work-Related Entitlements and Benefits in Australia. Link provided at the bottom of the page.
The proposed Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws - Superannuation) Bill 2008 introduced by Attorney-General Robert McClelland last month is now facing a Senate inquiry to consider whether other forms of interdependent relationships such as carers or adult siblings should also be included.

According to The Age newspaper, the Coalition's shadow cabinet will debate the issue today and at the parliamentary weekly meeting of all Coalition MPs on Tuesday.

McClelland says he wants the laws passed before Parliament rises on June 26, to take effect from the start of the new financial year.

Under the proposed bill, same-sex partners will be entitled to receive the payment of death benefits from superannuation schemes or the tax concessions on death benefits currently made available to opposite-sex couples.

The legislation, which Labor promised before the election, is expected to remove discrimination against gay couples in about 100 areas of Commonwealth law.

"In keeping with the Government's election commitment, the changes do not alter marriage laws," McClelland said. "They will make a practical difference to the everyday lives of a group of our fellow Australians who have suffered discrimination under Commonwealth laws for far too long."

In May, the Australian Capital Territory passed the civil partnership laws, a watered down version of the territory's plan to allow gay couples to formalise their relationships through civil ceremonies.

The ACT was forced to axe part of the bill after the federal government argued a legally recognised ceremony was too similar to a wedding, and threatened to use its constitutional powers to overturn the proposed law unless it was amended.


1. 2008-06-03 07:33  
Why are gay people expected to pay for services
and policies that they are not allowed to recieve?

If gay people are to be treated diiferent and barred from releif that others enjoy then do not charge them in their tax, pay for what you recieve.
2. 2008-06-03 16:42  
Finally Australia is set to come into line with much of the Western world on issues of superanuation etc. While Australia's flabouyant gay culture and scene, including the gay mardi gras, has created an international image of acceptance of the gay community the truth is far from this. The previous Australian government vermanently blatedly opposed any liberation of laws to deliver equal rights for GLBT people. While the jury is still out on the Rudd led labour government they have had a mixed start. The issue of official civil partnerships or gay marriage is still in the too hard basket.
3. 2008-06-03 23:35  
Look at the spelling mistakes in these last two posts; it shows you the state of Australian education.In the same spirit of slackness and lack of direction is nearly every area of Australian life apart from sport. A nation that cannot get its act together. The Rudd government is a danger to all gay self employed persons and a goodly number of the employed because it is likely to follow the Blair path - all spin and no substance, leaving conservative and lefty equally unhappy.
Look at this stupid attempt to appease voters in the so called heartland who do not want Rudd to give marriage rights to poofters. He is so terrified of losing these votes next time round that he will employ any spin and delay to avoid the charge of making life easier for alternative lifestyles or detracting from family values.Great to be able legally to bequeath a superannuation benefit to your lover; you may have nothing else to leave if Rudd stays in power.
4. 2008-06-04 00:47  
I don't think there was a lack of substance to Blair, his government did an enormous amount for gay people, we're spinning more from the massive amount of legislation he put through generally; Brown now has serious problems possibly from a lack of good presentation.

Gayness is simply not a party political issue here; with gay politicians on the front bench of both the main parties they can concentrate on other issues, and gayness becomes what it should be in an ideal world once discrimination is outlawed: an irrelevance.





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