Last week the NSW Government announced plans to introduce a state relationship register. The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL), while encouraged by the announcement, does not see registries as a substitute for full marriage equality.
Through our community consultations, we understand people want diverse forms of relationship recognition. Relationship registers are only one form of this.
Despite the GLRL never having directly campaigned for relationship registers, we view them as a step towards greater relationship recognition, however, full marriage equality remains the ultimate goal. The scheme has practical merits, as it provides a documented form of relationship recognition. However, it still lacks the symbolic and universal recognition that comes with marriage.
We are also pleased that the register will not require cohabitation as an eligibility requirement, which would discriminate against couples who do not live together but still wish to be registered as partners.
The GLRL is, however, disappointed that the scheme will not include any provisions for ceremonies, turning a couple’s commitment into a mere administrative exercise.
The GLRL recognises that while a relationship registry scheme is a step towards greater relationship recognition, we strongly urge the NSW Government to act in the best interests of children and swiftly amend the NSW Adoption Act.
We encourage everyone to take action on adoption reform by visiting us at www.glrl.org.au and submitting a letter to the Premier, Deputy Premier, and Minister for Community Services, urging the NSW Government to act now to formally recognise our families.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who participated in our float on the weekend and helped to spread our campaign messages to the wider community.
We would also like to thank our volunteers who helped us raise much-needed funds by assisting at the cloakrooms at Carnival and Harbour Party.
As the season continues, we wish everyone a happy and safe Mardi Gras!
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