The NSW Upper House voted to change 25 pieces of legislation to allow for equal rights for same-sex and de facto couples yesterday.
The Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Relationships) Bill was designed to change the wording of acts of parliament that were written before same-sex and de facto couples’ rights were recognised.
Acts dating back to 1950, and as diverse as the Dentists Act of 1989 and the Sporting Injuries Insurance Act of 1978, were included in the bill.
The bill was passed without amendment, despite predictable opposition from Rev. Fred Nile MLC, who proposed including a statement the reforms did not validate or further the idea of same-sex marriage.
He also proposed another amendment to separate the term spouse from de facto and same-sex relationships.
The proposed amendments were lost despite having the support of the Liberal Legislative Council members.
The Liberal members, led by MLC Greg Pearce, supported the original bill before Rev. Nile called for the changes.
The bill was passed to the NSW lower house. A spokesperson from attorney-general Bob Debus’s office said it could be raised as early as today.
The Miscellaneous Acts Amendment (Relationships) Bill has also been called the Missing Pieces legislation. It was prepared following changes to the Property (Relationships) Act in 1999, which amended the 1984 De Facto Relationships Act.
Missing pieces legislation sought to change those acts which still contained discriminatory language or did not allow the same rights for same-sex or de facto couples as married people.
The Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby welcomed the announcement.
We’re extremely glad that the government is taking some action towards recognising our rights, co-convenor Somali Ghosh told the Star.
We hope that they follow this through by moving as quickly as possible to equalise the age of consent.