Definition of 'de facto' in WA extended to gay partners

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Definition of 'de facto' in WA extended to gay partners

Legislation dealing with two important aspects of equality will soon be law in Western Australia.

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Legislation dealing with two important aspects of equality will soon be law in Western Australia.

Firstly, it deals with the legal status of married women compared with single women or women living in de facto relationships; and, secondly, with discrimination against partners in relationships other than marital relationships in matters such as the transfer of property, the dependent spouse rebate, compensation schemes, health-related legislation and inheritance.

The legislation that redefines ‘close relative’ (for numerous legal and related purposes), to include a de facto partner of a deceased person who has lived on that basis with the deceased for at least the two years preceding the time of death has received Assent. Such persons are to be treated the same as a spouse of a deceased person.

The Acts Amendment (Equality of Status) Act 2002 received assent on 22 May 2003. The Act, which will take effect on proclamation, amends a large body of legislation relating to de facto relationships.

This legislation was designed as a mopping-up measure and will amend 61 statutes to reflect the policy of achieving equality.

The phrases 'de facto partner', 'de facto relationship' and 'spouse' are not defined in this Act, however, the term will be defined in the Interpretation Act 1984, when it is amended by the Acts Amendment (Lesbian and Gay Law Reform) Act 2001.

 
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