Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Australia to cut gay discrimination

[...] The changes — to about 100 different laws — will begin being introduced to Parliament next month, and the process is expected to be completed by mid-2009, McClelland said.

Some examples of the changes include that children being reared by gay couples would be considered dependents of both adults for tax and unemployment benefits, and same-sex couples would be treated as a family unit for pension purposes.

Rights advocates welcomed the changes, though they said the government should go further and recognize gay marriages.

"Gay and lesbian Australians will not be fully equal until we are allowed the right to marry the partner of our choice," Rodney Croome of the Australian Coalition for Equality group told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The Most Rev. Peter Jensen, the Anglican archbishop of Sydney who is a vocal opponent of gay marriage, said people in platonic relationships deserve the same benefits as gay couples under the law reforms.

"I hope this is not just pro-gay, so to speak, but pro-people ... in order to make sure there is justice for all Australians," Jensen told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

He said friends living together in long-standing platonic relationships "support and strengthen each other."

"There'd be many Christian people living like that, and I think that sort of thing could also be recognized," Jensen added. Read more
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