Friday, 4 January 2019

Presenting at Better Together 2019


My first presentation of the year will be in Sydney on 12 January at #BetterTogether2019, run by The Equality Project which is a new national organisation bringing together LGBTIQ+ people with allies across the social justice movement, to advocate for a better, more just, and fairer society for all. 
The conference aims to explore current issues facing the LGBTIQ+ movement, bringing together voices from indigenous communities, people with a disability, the deaf community, as well as multicultural and multi-faith communities.  

My presentation will be about surrogacy.  I will be presenting with renowned fertility counsellor and psychologist Miranda Montrone.  Miranda, who is based in Sydney, has been a fertility counsellor for over 30 years.  She is one of the leading surrogacy counselling experts in Australia and has written many pre-signing and post birth surrogacy reports.  A client of mine who with his wife attended upon Miranda for a report, said that Miranda was a credit to her profession.  My client was also a psychologist.

Details for the conference are here.

The conference will be held at UTS

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Launch of Page Provan!


I am delighted to announce the launch of Page Provan, family and fertility lawyers.  I am in partnership with Bruce Provan.  Our focus remains on achieving quality outcomes for our clients. 
For over 13 years I was a partner at Harrington Family Lawyers, first with Julie Harrington and then also with Bruce Provan.  In late November, Julie Harrington announced that she was retiring from the practice, effective immediately.  

Bruce and I decided in light of Julie’s retirement from the practice that it was appropriate that to reflect the new ownership that it be called Page Provan.  I am excited to continue to provide services to my clients and hopefully will do so for many years to come.  Our office address of level 12, 239 George Street, Brisbane, has not changed, nor our phone number: +61 7 3221 9544. My email has changed to stephen@pageprovan.com.au.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

IAFL/AAML joint position statement about US diplomat visas


The International Academy of Family Lawyers and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers condemn the decision of the US State Department to restrict G-4 visas to married persons and to end, as of October 1, 2018, the previous policy allowing same-sex domestic partners to qualify. 

The G-4 visa is used by foreign diplomats and employees of international organizations to live in the US.  Since 2009 it has been necessary for such persons to provide evidence of marriage in order for their immediate family members to qualify for G-4 status.  Recognizing that marriage for same-sex couples is allowed in only a small number of countries, the US has until now extended G-4 status to same-sex domestic partners.  The recent directive by the State Department brings an immediate halt to that valuable accommodation for non-married but coupled diplomats and employees.

The effect of this decision is to discriminate against same-sex couples from countries that do not allow or recognize same-sex marriage.  It will effectively prevent members of the LGBTI community from certain countries from living and working in the US and will have a significant negative impact on the diversity of organizations, including the United Nations.  Moreover, it puts at risk diplomats and employees of international organizations who could be discriminated against, abused and/or criminally prosecuted by their own governments if they married in the US in an effort to maintain their G-4 status.  This new rule is a deeply troublesome and retrograde step which erodes the civil rights gains of recent years.

Both the International Academy of Family Lawyers and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers call for this decision to be immediately reversed.  Both organizations reaffirm their support of efforts towards full equality of the LGBTI community throughout the world and the end to rules that unfairly discriminate against such individuals and, in many countries, criminalize countless couples because of the ones they love.  

Disclosure

I am a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and a member of its LGBT Committee.