Australia’s first openly gay ambassador Stephen Brady has been appointed secretary to the first female Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.

Brady presented his partner Peter Stephens to Queen Margrethe of Denmark in 1999 when first appointed as an ambassador by then prime minister John Howard, and was later appointed to the Netherlands.

Both countries have been on the forefront of same-sex relationship recognition with registered partners and marriages legalised respectively.

The same-sex couple will be introduced to official representatives of many more countries in Brady’s $225,000 appointment.

The legislation that would allow Brady to nominate Stephens as the recipient of his public service superannuation is currently being held up by a Senate inquiry.

John Challis, a campaigner for the superannuation reforms, called the appointment a welcome sign that the Rudd Government is comfortable with same-sex relationships.

Stephen and Peter are entitled to the same respect and basic human rights which the rest of the community takes for granted, he said.

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