This year’s push to amend the 58 laws that discriminate against same-sex couples and their children will be spearheaded by the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL) which next month will meet with the Attorney-General Robert McLelland.

The GLRL will also seek a time frame for the law so discrimination in the area of federal financial and work-related entitlements is overturned before the end of the year.

To keep equal rights at the forefront of the Mardi Gras season, GLRL will launch their 58 ’08 campaign, “to have the 58 laws equal by the end of 2008” at Fair Day.

GLRL co-convenor Emily Gray said the Lobby would ensure the Rudd Government upholds its commitment to amend the 58 laws that discriminate against the gay and lesbian community as documented in the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s 2007 report, Same Sex: Same Entitlements.

“There are no more excuses not to have these laws changed at this stage,” Gray said. “We really don’t see the reason for any delay. The laws have been identified and it has also been shown how they are to be changed.”

As part of the 58 ’08 campaign, the GLRL has called upon community members to volunteer with the Lobby this Mardi Gras season, get involved in the Lobby float and attend same-sex parenting and marriage forums.

The Lobby float, which was inspired by the teen hit flick Bring it On, will be lead by a troupe of cheerleaders dressed in pink, white and black costumes with 58 ’08 printed on the front and back. A soundtrack of satirical chants highlighting discrimination against same-sex couples and their children will be played overhead.

Volunteers are also needed at the launch night fundraiser on Saturday 9 February, the Lobby’s Sea of Hearts event at Fair Day on Sunday 19 February, the Sol y Luna Harbour Party on Sunday 24 February, and in the Toybox cloakroom on Sunday 2 March.

A Talking Turkey: Same Sex Parenting information forum will be held on Wednesday 13 February at 7pm, at Redfern Town Hall, 73 Pitt St, Redfern, and an Is Same-Sex Marriage a Human Right? forum will be held on Friday 8 February, from 12.30 to 2pm at Martin Place.

For volunteer enquiries email volunteers@glrl.org.au, for Mardi Gras float enquiries email mardigras@glrl.org.au, or for more information phone 9571 5501.

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