Sunday, 15 June 2008

Gay groups urge Nelson not to delay

A coalition of LGBT human rights organisations has presented a letter to Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson, asking him not to delay reform of superannuation laws to recognise same-sex couples.

The letter also sought a meeting with Dr Nelson and included case studies of same-sex partners for whom reform is very urgent.

Brendan Nelson and Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis have said that the Opposition will establish a Senate inquiry into reform to look at issues such as the recognition of interdependent relationships.

Debate on the inquiry will take place in the Senate next week.

The letter was jointly presented by groups attending Tuesday's annual consultation between non-government human rights organisations and the federal Attorney-General's Department.

The range of groups in attendance was broader than at previous consultations because Tuesday's consultation focussed on same-sex entitlements, and because of the hope for greater attention to LGBT issues under the new Federal Government.

Australian Coalition for Equality spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said LGBT community representatives raised a wide range of issues including same-sex couple access to the Family Court, the recognition of state-registered relationships, a national sexuality and gender identity discrimination law, nationally-consistent laws governing the recognition of gender identity, Australia's international advocacy on LGBT human rights, a national charter of rights, same-sex marriage, and a specific advisory committee on LGBTI issues.

"As someone who has previously attended these meetings I was really pleased to see so many LGBT community advocates participating and contributing. It's vital that we can continue to take our issues direct to government by engaging in these forums", Mr Croome said.

Rodney Croome

Present at the NGO forum were Demetra Giannakopolous, Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby; Rodney Croome and John Kloprogge, Australian Coalition for Equality
Peter Furness and Alex Greenwich, Australian Marriage Equality; Emily Gray, NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby.

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