The GLRL’s 58’08 campaign for same-sex de facto equality in federal law is coming to a close. We’re still working hard to ensure that the three Bills amending close to 90 pieces of legislation pass successfully through the Senate with support from both sides of politics.
Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland has strongly expressed his desire to see these reforms through before the start of 2009. And if Mr Turnbull takes the lead and corrals the Coalition into ending financial and legal discrimination against same-sex couples and their families, we can achieve this goal by the end of the year.
We cannot underestimate the importance of urging the Coalition to stop delaying on these reforms . Make your voices heard by sending your own letter, or the pro forma we have provided (see link below) to Malcolm Turnbull and Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis.
Having removed much of the day-to-day financial and legal discrimination faced by same-sex couples, the next big challenge for lesbian and gay Australians will be to achieve formal relationship recognition and access to the institution of marriage and civil unions.
There are other goals that we need to pursue alongside our campaign for equal relationship recognition. One of those is the implementation of an education campaign for our community. In order to access our legal rights, we need to know what they are.
We also need a Federal Sexuality Anti-Discrimination Act to complement the existing legislation in the areas of disability, age, sex and race to protect lesbians and gay men against discrimination in the workplace and in government services. We also need to tackle the issue of same-sex adoption and altruistic surrogacy at a state level.
In the meantime, let’s not lose sight of what needs to be done by December 31. In order for lesbian and gay Australians to enter a new era of recognition and equality by removing discrimination in almost 90 pieces of legislation, the Coalition needs to support the current bills before Parliament, and soon.