A MAN who was not recognised as his partner’s next of kin by the Tasmanian Police and Coroner’s Office will have his case heard by the state’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.
Ben Jago had been in a five year relationship with Nathan Luson when the latter took his own life in January 2015. The two were engaged and had planned to marry in New Zealand this year.
Jago was refused permission to see Lunson’s body in the Royal Hobart Hospital and initially refused permission to attend the funeral in Ulverstone until negotiations between their families allowed him to sit down the back with Lunson’s friends and not speak.
It was also Lunson’s wish to be cremated in Hobart, not buried in Ulverstone.
The Coroner’s OffIce has since admitted that it made a mistake, acknowledging that same-sex partners have had equal rights in Tasmanian law, including as next of kin, since 2003.
Jago filed a complaint with the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, which has found he has an arguable case of discrimination against the Tasmania Police and the Coroner’s Office.
The case will now proceed to the state’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.
“I am pleased with the decision the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner has made,” Jago said.
“This helps restore my faith in humanity and at least I feel like I’m being listened to.
“I look forward to my day in court and hope justice will be done.”