The Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission commends the Rudd Government’s decision to address the 58 discriminatory laws raised in their 2007 report, Same Sex:Same Entitlements, as well as 40 additional points of law which have been found to discriminate against the gay and lesbian population.

I am delighted that the Government is acting on the recommendations of our report within a year of its publication, Human Right Commissioner Graeme Innes said.

I welcome these changes, which will provide economic equality for same-sex couples throughout Australia.

The changes in legislation, which are set to be introduced in the winter sitting of Parliament will see HREOC’s concerns of discrimination in the areas of taxation, superannuation, medicare, pharmaceutical benefits and employment entitlements all be addressed.

I look forward to seeing the legislation and I am hopeful that it will pass through Parliament quickly, Innes said.

I congratulate the Rudd Government for honouring its election commitment to removing discrimination against people simply because of who they love.

ACON: time to say thanks

ACON has encouraged the community to send their thanks to the Attorney-General Robert McClelland.

The Government has to be congratulated for its decision, ACON CEO Stevie Clayton said.

This is the most significant reform to be made on a Federal level for the gay community that has ever happened in the history of Australia.

It is a huge step forward towards equality. Though of course it is not the whole thing, these changes to be implemented over the next 18 months will have real practical benefits for people and really change people’s lives.

Clayton said the next step would be to look at policies in need of amendment to make a real difference for the community.

We would also like to see an education campaign intitiated, because if you don’t know what your rights are then you can’t exert them or defend them, she said.

So it is important that information is given to the people who will be implementing these changes and for the people who will have access to them as well.

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