Same-sex couples — legislative entitlements

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Same-sex couples — legislative entitlements

The Federal Government will change a number of current laws that discriminate against same-sex couples. Employment and related entitlements will be affected.

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The Federal Government will change a number of current laws that discriminate against same-sex couples. Employment and related entitlements will be affected.

The changes will cover tax, superannuation, social security, health, aged care, veterans' entitlements, workers compensation, employment entitlements, and other areas. Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland says it will not extend to marriage.

Timing

The issue of discrimination against same-sex couples will be removed in the nominated entitlements. The Government anticipates that all the reforms will be introduced by mid-2009. Some of the changes would take effect immediately, but many financial laws - such as social security, tax and veterans' affairs - would be phased in by mid-2009. In these areas, the changes will be phased in to allow time for couples to adjust their finances, and for administrative arrangements to be put in place.

The changes will have to be passed by the Senate, where the Coalition retains its majority until 1 July.

Children

Mr McClelland said the changes will also mean children of same-sex couples will be regarded the same as any others in terms of superannuation, workers compensation and other entitlements.

Landmark report

Mr McClelland said the changes were long overdue and followed a landmark report of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission entitled ‘Same-Sex: Same Entitlements’, which focused on financial and work-related legislation.


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