Federal Attorney General Robert McClelland has been sent more than 700 letters demanding same-sex equality via the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby’s 58 ’08 campaign website.

Many of the letters focus on how the inequality affects their children.

I am 11 weeks pregnant with our first child and my partner has no legal parenting rights or rights to make medical decisions for our child, Simone and Laurie wrote.

We have recently been informed that the same rights that are extended to any de facto or married heterosexual couple, for free, when they have a family (equal parenting rights, medical/legal rights of attorney etc) will cost us approx $3000 in legal fees and court costs to obtain.

The GLRL hopes that same-sex parenting equality won’t get dropped from the initial reforms, as that would help push similar reforms in NSW.

The ACT, Northern Territory, Tasmania, Western Australia have already made these reforms and soon Victoria will, and hopefully the Federal Government this year, GLRL co-convenor Emily Gray said.

It would be ridiculous for the NSW Government to continue to lag behind.

In the next few months the GLRL will begin a new campaign on parenting reforms in NSW, hoping to capitalise on the public support for the removal of existing same-sex discrimination.

The priorities for change at state level are the Status of Child Act, allowing the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages to place non-biological gay and lesbian parents’ names put on birth certificates, and permission for same-sex couples to adopt jointly.

Like the HREOC report that last year sparked national attention on inequality in federal legislation, NSW agencies have written several reports covering inequality in state legislation.

The NSW Law Reform Commission provided a report into relationship recognition, including parenting recognition, to the state Attorney General in July 2006, but it is yet to be released to the public.

DoCS conducted a review of the Adoption Act in 2006, which was supplemented by advice from the Ministerial Advisory Committee in July 2007. A Department spokeswoman said that advice was still being considered.

Info: To send a letter to the Federal Attorney-General visit www.glrl.org.au/58

Have your say: Should the NSW Government fix parenting discrepancies immediately?

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