Sunday, 22 February 2009

TV: ABC and SBS focus on Indians

The summer TV drought now appears over. This week both ABC and SBS have stories about Indians and babies.

Tonight it is SBS's turn: on Dateline at 8.30 its story "Baby Factory" is about surrogacy in India. Here is the story's blurb:

Dateline steps into the middle of the great "Womb for Rent" debate. Video
Journalist Yalda Hakim visits a so-called 'baby factory' in the Indian state of
Gujarat where over 50 women live while they carry babies for well-off Western
clients. The women are poor and come from India's appalling slums. They are paid
about US$ 7,000 for providing babies - a fortune in their terms - and receive
good medical care and attention throughout their nine month term. With an
increasing number of Australians travelling to India for the service, this
surrogacy boom has sparked a fierce moral, ethical and legal debate."It’s just
horrific to consider this in moral terms as though this were some sort of
legitimate transaction. It’s not. Basically at the end of the day it’s wealthy
people exploiting poor people," says ethicist Nick Tonti- Filippini. That claim
is strongly rejected by Dr Nayna Patel, co-founder of the Akanksha clinic."How
can you say that couple is exploiting the female when the female willingly wants
to do it?"


On Tuesday at 9.20, it is the ABC's turn, when Foreign Correspondent is running a story, Stolen and Sold, about stolen children from India. Here is the blurb:

What would you do if you discovered your adopted children were stolen and
trafficked, and not willingly given up by their parents, as you'd believed?
South Asia correspondent Sally Sara investigates the insidious trade of children
in India, and joins an Australian family in their moving search for the truth.
Sara reveals that dozens of Australian families are oblivious to the true
background of their adopted youngsters, because of bureaucratic bungling and
government ineptitude both here and in India.It’s a remarkable story that
reveals a shocking truth about some overseas adoptions.
We follow the journey of the Rollings family from Canberra.For ten years
Barry and Julia Rollings believed their son Akil and daughter Sabila had been
given up willingly by their birth parents in Chennai.But after hearing
suspicions reports about Indian orphanages, they set out to locate the
childrens’ birth mother. The news was shocking.
Akil and Sabila had been taken from their mother, and sold to an
orphanage.The Rollings have now embraced their ‘Indian family’ as part of their
own - Akil and Sabila have ‘two mothers’.It’s an inspirational story of one
family’s courage.
Sally Sara also investigates claims that dozens of trafficked Indian
children may have been placed for adoption in Australia - their new parents
oblivious to the background of the youngsters. She speaks to heartbroken couple
Fathima and Salya, whose child Jabeen was kidnapped from the streets of Chennai
by traffickers. Jabeen was adopted to an Australian couple, and now lives
unaware of her background, while her adoptive parents live in anguish.It’s a
story of crime and cover up - its victims both here and in India.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Legal blog on Prop 8

It's funny at times how the internet works. We all take it for granted that we can see stuff from all the over world, but sometimes when it happens, it's still mindblowing.

That's what happened after I wrote this post about the legal challenge to Proposition 8 (the referendum which overturned the ability of same sex couples to marry in California). I had seen that there had been an intellectual discussion amongst lawyers about whether or not the challenge would succeed, which prompted me to write the post.

Then Michael Ginsborg commented on the post. It turns out that Michael, a law librarian from San Francisco, writes a blog about the legal discussion on Prop 8. I will now be following his blog, Legal Commentary on Proposition 8 with interest.

Nightmare in Jackson Memorial

Probably one of the greatest nightmares of any same sex couple is if one of them gets ill, gets taken to hospital, and the other is prevented from seeing their ill or dying partner in hospital.

One of the ways of preventing this is to ensure that both partners execute an enduring power of attorney for health matters, so that they cna direct the hospital as to what to do.

Despite having the American equivalent of one of these, it was not enough for Janice Langbehn who (along with their 3 adopted children), except for 5 minutes when the priest delivered the last rites, was banned from seeing her dying partner of 18 years Lisa Marie Pond.

Janice and Lisa aged 39, and their children had travelled to Miami to go on a cruise. While the cruise ship was in dock, Lisa, a previously healthy woman, had a heart attack. Within a short while Lisa was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she died about 8 hours later.

Janice started proceedings in July 2008, claiming that the hospital was negligent in not allowing her to see her partner.

Now, according to the Miami Herald, a Florida judge is deciding whether the claim is sufficient to be sent to trial.

According to the Miami Herald, Jackson Memorial did not allow Janice to stay because Jackson staffers advised Janice that she could not see Lisa earlier because the hospital's visitation policy in cases of emergency was limited to immediate family and spouses -- not partners.

Jackson Memorial is defending the claim on the basis that there was no right for visitors to attend.

Lisa said in 2007:
‘We only want the hospital to take responsibility for how they treated us and ensure that it doesn't happen to another family.’

Friday, 13 February 2009

SCAG calls for uniform surrogacy laws

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, the unfortunately named SCAG has released a discussion paper suggesting that there be uniform surrogacy laws allowing for altruistic surrogacy, but banning commercial surrogacy.

The paper proposes as one option that surrogates can be paid up to $10,000 in expenses, and that there might be residency requirements - so that intending parents in one State could not go to another State for surrogacy arrangements.

In the well known case of Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy and his wife, who are Victorians, the couple had a child by surrogacy in NSW because it was banned in Victoria. If that portion of the paper were to be enacted, it would prevent people like Senator Conroy and his wife travelling interstate. To use the most bizarre application of such a proposal, this would mean, for example that people living in Queenbeyan could not go to Canberra, or people living at Tweed Heads could not go to the Gold Coast.

Submissions should be sent to the Executive Officer of the Secretariat of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, NSW Attorney General’s Department, GPO Box 6, Sydney NSW 2001 or can be emailed to http://www.blogger.com/natalie_marsic@agd.nsw.gov.au. Inquiries may be directed to the SCAG Secretariat – ph 02 8061 9325

The closing date for submissions is 16 April 2009.

The paper, which contains an excellent current summary of surrogacy law in Australia, can be accessed here.

Charter of Rights function

The Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland will be holding a function to outline how a charter of rights protects the rights of LGBTI people.



Time: 5.30pm
Date: 25/2/09
Place: Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland
Level 1, 189 Coronation Drive (Cnr Cribb Street), Milton
Speaker: Dr Alan Berman
Senior Lecturer, Business and Law
University of Newcastle

RSVP: Heloise Misso 07 3247 0901 heloisemisso@adcq.qld.gov.au

Alan has agreed to talk about why a Charter of Rights protects the rights of the LGBTI
communities and why we should support the Charter. Alan will also be talking about his research project into homophobia in Queensland.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

NSW Inquiry into Same Sex Adoption

Submissions to the New South Wales Parliament inquiry into same sex adoption close at midnight this Friday, 13th February.



The inquiry is by the Upper House's Law and Justice Committee. Its terms of reference are:







That the Standing Committee on Law and Justice inquire into and report on law
reform issues regarding whether NSW adoption laws should be amended to allow
same sex couples to adopt, with particular reference to:
a. ascertaining whether adoption by same sex couples would further the objectives of the Adoption Act 2000
b. the experience in other Australian and overseas jurisdictions that allow the adoption of children by same sex couples
c. whether there is scope within the existing programs (local and international)
for same sex couples to be able to adopt
d. examining the implications of adoption by same sex couples for children, and
e. if adoption by same sex couples will promote the welfare of children, then examining what legislative changes are required.



For more details about the inquiry and how to make submissions, click here.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Prop 8: intellectual discussion

I came across this site by a law prof in the States which sets out some discussion amongst lawyers of the possible outcome of the challenge to Proposition 8 in California. The site also contains a useful link to an overall update on the case. One lawyer is clear that he thinks that the case is doomed, others are not so sure.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Queensland: To change adoption laws, but same sex couples need not apply



The Queensland Government has introduced today the Adoption Bill into the Queensland Parliament, to replace the antiquated Adoption of Children Act 1964. The Minister responsible, Margaret Keech, said about the Bill:
  • it was "delivering fair laws to those people affected by adoption"
  • it reflected "contemporary community standards"
  • "Eligibility to lodge expressions of interest to adopt will be extended from married couples to de facto couples who have been in a relationship for at least two years."
  • was "in line with the Bligh government’s vision for a fairer Queensland"
  • by now requiring adoption orders to be made by a court, "provides for this and brings Queensland into line with every other Australian jurisdiction".
  • "The current objective is to identify the best possible prospective adoptive families to meet the needs of the small number of children who require adoptive parents."
  • "Finally, in line with the Bligh Government’s vision for a fairer Queensland,I am proud this Bill is a very progressive piece of new legislation which will bring Queensland’s adoption practice in line with international best practice." (emphasis added)


The Bill will remove the discrimination that exists in the 1964 Act against heterosexual de facto couples, but not against same sex couples.


Just so that it is clear, the Bill is expressed to override the Anti-Discrimination Act. The only obvious reason for this is so that same sex couples can be discriminated against.
This approach is different to that in places such as Western Australia and the ACT where same sex couples can adopt.


For the full speech by the Minister, click here[PDF] .
For the Bill, click here.

Same-sex changes to take effect 15 March

The Governor-General has proclaimed that the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws - General Law Reform) Act 2008 is to commence on 15 March.

Click here for the proclamation.

The changes remove discrimination from a raft of Commonwealth legislation, including:
  • Medicare
  • Tax
  • DFRDB
  • Veterans' Affairs
  • Superannuation for Commonwealth public servants

For the full list of legislation being amended (and it's huge!) click here.

The changes came about from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission Report in 2007 : Same-Sex: Same Entitlements, which identified 55 Commonwealth laws which discriminated against same-sex people in their property and personal rights. The Howard Government refused to make the changes (except promising to change superannuation matters concerning Commonwealth public servants).

Kevin Rudd promised to make the changes. On coming to office his government identified that there were 100 laws that discriminated.

84 of those laws will be altered on 15 March.

Some of the changes will not be put into place until 1 July. Same sex partners have been able to take advantage of the Social Security Act because their relationship has not been recognised as a "marriage like relationship". Therefore, what their partner has earned has been irrelevant.

The Government has previously announced that, with the changes, it is expected by 1 July that same sex couples in which one or both receive Centrelink will be subject to the same rules as straight couples. Some who have been able to take advantage of the rules, will then miss out, or have their benefits reduced.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Will the Government's Anti-same-sex-discrimination law reforms go far enough in protecting same-sex entitlements?

Griffith Uni last year commenced the Michael Kirby Award, an award for LGBT legal writing and discussion. One of the entrants was Dean Jones. Here is his edited paper (unfortunately the pie graphs did not turn out):


Will the government’s anti-same-sex-discrimination law reforms go far enough in protecting same-sex entitlements?

by Dean Jones



Same-Sex Entitlements: No Less, No More
Introduction

Over the centuries, in all corners of the world, minority groups have been institutionalised, robbed of their dignity, beaten, or worse systematically executed for being different.[1] In hindsight, it is clear that these severe reactions were built on the majority’s negative perception stemming from fear and ignorance. The struggle for equality by minorities in society has been no different for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual/ transgender and intersex people (LGBTI).[2] During the past three decades, a large amount of ground has been achieved in regards to lesbian and gay issues. This is primarily due to LGBTI people playing a greater role in the Australian political scene and public consciousness.[3] Australia has seen a shift in public attitudes whereby same-sex relationships are becoming slightly more accepted, most notably evidenced in amendments to the law that afford same-sex couples more rights.[4] In 2006, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC)[5] commenced a national inquiry into discrimination against people in same-sex relationships, in regards to financial and work-related entitlements and benefits.[6] Despite shifting public perception in favour of same-sex relationships, their findings unconditionally supported what many in the community already knew to be true: that same-sex relationships are discriminated against under Australia law. In response to the HREOC findings, the Commonwealth government will be reforming 58[7] pieces of legislation identified in the report as discriminatory towards same-sex couples.[8]

The thesis of this research paper is that the government’s anti-same-sex-discrimination law reforms will only go so far as to protect same-sex financial entitlements but not protect same-sex couples from the remaining social stigma associated with being in a homosexual relationship. The focus of the paper will therefore be on financial entitlements but a concern for issues of a broader social discrimination will provide a background.

This research paper provides an analysis of the HREOC report and how, in 2008, the federal government thinks its proposals to amend the discriminating laws identified by HREOC, are an appropriate step towards representing contemporary Australian views.[9]

Part A and B of this paper will give a background of same-sex relationships in Australia and the laws that historically discriminated against minority groups.

Part C will explain the development of Australia’s same-sex law reform in context wherein statistics from 300 university students conducted over a three-week period, will provide a framework, revealing that the public supports the proposed amendments identified by the HREOC report.[10]

Part D will explore the current inequalities for same-sex couples before the law also drawing upon the data collected from the university students as well as interviews with both the Queensland Greens Party and the sub-division of Queensland Labor Party, Rainbow Labor Queensland. This information will form the political foundation of this research paper.

Under Part E: Future Law Reforms, an assessment of the HREOC report will be conducted focusing on its findings in relation to recognising the relationships of same-sex couples and their children, taxation and superannuation law reform. It will be asserted that the anticipated amendments will not create full equality before the law in relation to marriage nor will it stop the homophobia in the community. Ultimately, in Part F, it will be argued that the Commonwealth government should take an additional step forward and legislate to make marriage legal between same-sex couples.

A) Background
Human rights have been a cornerstone of Australian democracy since its creation in 1901, however today’s LGBTI community has had to fight for their rights, just as women, Indigenous Australians, immigrants and other minority groups have had to do so.[11] Well into the 20th century, homosexuality was regarded as a wilful rebellion against morality and godliness and a depraved criminal perversion.[12] However, in more recent years, the LGBTI community’s struggle for equality has moved out from behind closed doors to become a talking point in Australian homes.[13] During the 1970s through to the present, LGBTI issues have formed a greater part of the Australian political scene and public consciousness than during any other era in Australian history.[14]


Investigating Australia’s same-sex law reforms, from both a political and social perspective is vital, as amending the existing inequalities will not be possible without the support of these two domains. In an interview with the Queensland Greens Party, Glenn Martin believed this was because governments are at the whim of the people in which he said, ‘it is the public who vote who will be making the laws’.[15] Furthermore, amending Australia’s unequal treatment of same-sex couples is significant because reforming anti-discrimination laws will have an impact on the LGBTI community.[16] This is particularly evident with the children of same-sex couples, as outlined in the ‘Same-Sex: Same Entitlements’ (2007) findings.[17] It was found in the HREOC report that at least 20,000 same-sex couples and their dependents are discriminated against in the area of financial and work-related entitlements and the law is failing, in this respect, to protect the best interests of the child.[18]

Currently, with Kevin Rudd’s election promise to implement the findings of the HREOC report as one of his first Prime Ministerial directives, a heated debate has erupted regarding the presence of lesbians and gay men in Australian equal rights bills.[19] Nearly every religious organisation in the country is struggling with questions ranging from same-sex marriage to the ordination of openly gay ministers.[20] Moreover, at no time in Australian history have homosexual people been more visible, with lesbian women and gay men battling in Parliament, in the streets, and in the courtrooms for civil rights.[21] At the same time, the LGBTI community face stiffer opposition than ever before.[22] In addition, more and more LGBTI people are attacked every year simply for being different; 85 per cent of lesbians and gays have experienced harassment or violence.[23]

But it is in the area of financial entitlements that the next battle has begun. After HREOC released the report: ‘Same-Sex: Same Entitlements’ (2007), on the Australian laws that discriminate against same-sex couples, issues ranging from principles of non-discrimination, the best interests of the child as well as equality before the law are now the discussions at the dinner tables of everyday Australians and in the political sphere.

B) Historical Analysis of Same-sex Discrimination in Australia Law
Throughout Australian history, sexual relations have been a concern of the secular legal system, as well as an issue of religious morality and medical science; Australian society has long maintained laws that directly dictate what combinations of individuals may work together or have sex with one another and in what manner.[24] For example, until the 1970s women could not work in the Commonwealth Public Service if they were married, while it was not until the 1980s that women could refuse consent to have sex with their husbands.[25] In relation to same-sex relationships, it was not until the late 1990s that Tasmania changed its laws, which criminalised sexual contact between consenting male adults.[26] In addition to these direct prohibitions, Australia has long maintained various mechanisms to indirectly channel sexual relations. For example, catholic schools can deny jobs to individuals whose sexual practices are not approved of by the education facility because of exemption to the operation of anti-discrimination laws.[27]

For the LGBTI community, federal and state regulation of sexuality has been particularly harsh. State sodomy laws have criminalised one way in which gay people express their love for one another, with Queensland the remaining state that requires a man to be 18 years of age to have anal intercourse with another male.[28] Sexual orientation has often been used to deny LGBTI people custody of, or visitation with, their own children.[29] In addition, discrimination against LGBTI people exists in employment and housing, and LGBTI people were often denied access to public programs and places solely because of their sexual orientation.[30] A same-sex partner was not guaranteed the same carer’s leave and compassionate leave as an opposite-sex partner.[31] For example, under the Industrial Relations Act 1984 (TAS) it was unclear whether a same-sex partner could access carer’s leave.[32] This was amended by the Tasmania’s Relationships Act 2003 (TAS) and is discussed in Part C; Same-Sex Law Reforms in Australia. Alternatively, employees in a same-sex relationship are still not adequately protected from discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of sexual orientation.[33] The federal judiciary is even affected by discriminating laws that do not entitle a same-sex partner of a federal judge or magistrate to have the same access of travel entitlements in comparison to an opposite-sex partner.[34]

C) Same-Sex Law Reforms in Australia
Australian law is only just beginning to recognise LGBTI relationships. The government’s anti-same-sex-discrimination law reforms aim to start giving the same rights to same-sex families that are already enjoyed by opposite-sex couples and their children. However, it will be argued in this paper that the proposed anti-discrimination-same-sex amendments will still not allow same-sex marriage nor will it resolve the stigma surrounding homosexual relationships. Full equality cannot be achieved without legislating to protect the same overall treatment whether this is in regards to a male having consensual intercourse with another male at the universal age of 16, being a foster parent or civil unions. Although more broadly based social movements towards equality before the law are present, the political domain is the primary arena in which the struggle for LGBTI rights has been, and will continue to be, played out.[35]

During the Prime Minister John Howard’s administration, running from 1996 to 2007, Australia witnessed very little progress in same-sex recognition and consequently their entitlements to benefits that opposite-sex relationships unconditionally receive.[36] An exception was in 2004, when the Howard government amended Australia’s superannuation and taxation laws to recognise people in interdependency relationships as dependents. However, the federal government refused to consider same-sex relationships under any marriage-like heading.[37] The former Prime Minister spoke on these contradictory reforms, during his terms in office, in a speech as follows:

[We will] … firstly amend the Marriage Act, to insert into the Act the commonly accepted definition of a marriage as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life. We’ve decided to insert this into the Marriage Act to make it very plain that that is our view of a marriage …

Separately we will be legislating … to expand the definition of dependent for the purposes of paying superannuation death benefits to include a person in an interdependent relationship … including of course members of same sex relationships. The amendments … will not alter the definition of a spouse, it will not specifically recognise same sex relationships.[38]

In so doing, dependents could receive tax-free superannuation death benefits.[39] Thus, in a heartrending way, the only recognition allowed, at a federal level, of same-sex relationships was when one partner died.

Around Australia, state and territories have legislated against sexual discrimination and for equal recognition of same-sex and opposite-sex relationships. South Australia recognised same-sex couples on an equal footing with opposite-sex de facto relationships in respect to inheritance, property laws and state taxes, although equality is not provided in respect to children.[40] Tasmania’s Relationships Act 2003 (TAS) provides a registration system for same-sex couples at the state’s Registry of Births, Death and Marriages.[41] This ability to register a same-sex relationship created a new definition of partner or spouse that was embedded into approximately 70 Tasmanian statutes, even allowing the adoption of a biological child of a partner.[42] The Australian Capital Territory passed the Civil Unions Act 2006 (ACT) which was immediately dismissed by federal executive order on 13 June 2006 because of the resemblance of the civil unions it recognised to marriage.[43] This is because, in 2004, under the Howard administration, legislation was introduced to explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage.[44] However, in 2008, the Act was successfully re-introduced and the Australian Capital Territory, as well as Tasmania and Victoria all now have same-sex civil unions recognised.[45]

i) The Survey
Over a three-week period, a survey was conducted across two different Brisbane Universities: Griffith University (Nathan campus) and Australian Catholic University (McAuley at Banyo).[46] At the end of each survey, every student was provided with an informative leaflet to make this investigation both an examination of the student’s same-sex knowledge as well as an informative exercise.[47] During the month of August 2008, 300 surveys were individually filled out and collected; statistical data from these surveys can be found in appendices four through to twenty-two. The overall results surprisingly revealed the catholic funded University had compatible liberal thoughts, on the topic of same-sex couples and their entitlements, as did Griffith University students. While an average 66 per cent of students at Australian Catholic University believed the Australian law discriminated against the LGBTI people, similarly an average 65.5 per cent of Griffith University students held the same belief.[48] This correlation between the universities continued in each of the questions in regards to both male and female respondents.

The most significant feature of the surveys was the religious sentiment evident in the majority of responses. Although there was no question directly identifying any religious group or source, students returning the surveys continued to write about religious values, both in a positive and negative light. Moreover, this was not restricted to the Australian Catholic University; it was also present in approximately 40 per cent of the Griffith University surveys. Hence, a link can be drawn between the law, politics and religion. One Griffith University male student believes that the ‘law discriminates because it is based on religious values’.[49] While another female Griffith University student wrote, ‘Australia is a Christian based country’,[50] which is why it discriminates. Repeatedly, questions of religion were brought into this survey. However, an overwhelming 76 per cent of students surveyed, across both Universities, believed that the main players in changing the laws to conform to the principle of equality before the law for lesbian and gay people would be politicians.[51]

ii) State Political Responses to Same-Sex Discrimination in Queensland
According to the Queensland Greens Party, the state of Queensland is shrouded with conservative values due to long serving Labor administration.[52] The Greens Party maintain they have been lobbying, at both a state and federal level, for equal treatment of same-sex couples for decades.[53] They claim this issue is about ‘freedom of sexuality and gender identity [which] are fundamental human rights’.[54] Co-convenor of the sub-group of the Queensland Labor Party, Rainbow Labor Queensland, Sean Leader believed that state is ahead on some same-sex issues, but not others.[55] He asserted that the Party supports the moves of the Commonwealth government in amending laws in the community, which discriminate against same-sex couples.[56]

In relation to whether the Queensland Labor Party felt that homophobia was a significant issue in Queensland, Rainbow Labor Queensland put forward that it believed this is an issue and they receive support to run small events to create awareness.[57] However, the Greens Party more stridently took the view that both the state and federal governments must do more to curb the growing ‘fear of persecutions, discrimination and/or rejection from society’.[58] The Queensland Greens Party went further and wrote in question 19 of this paper’s interview, ‘societal pressures can cause huge psychological implications that include stress, depression and suicidal thoughts and actions’.[59] While Rainbow Labor Queensland feels that the state has taken massive strides in same-sex law reform, it expressed the view that Queensland still lags behind other states in Australia.[60] Both the Queensland Labor and Greens Parties support amending same-sex discrimination in federal legislation. However, the Queensland Labor Party continues to uphold barbaric sodomy laws that imprison male youth for demonstrating a form of love opposite-sex couples can express from the age of 16.[61] This hypocrisy continues to both criminalise same-sex relationships and perhaps even more significantly, to symbolise the second-class stance of homosexual love.

D) The Current Inequalities before the Law
In 2007, the Australian government, led by newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, announced it would be taking some extraordinary leaps forward. Despite the former Prime Minister instructing his government departments not to cooperate with the HREOC investigation,[62] the inquiry had reached its recommendation that the 58[63] legal instruments be amended as they directly prejudiced Australians that lived in same-sex households.[64] Laws that differentiate between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples are not necessarily discriminatory. However, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has recognised that the criteria for such a differentiation must be ‘reasonable and objective’ and ‘the aim [should be] to achieve a purpose which is legitimate’.[65] It is in this context that the HREOC report based its fundamental principles, wherein readily apparent reasons could be the only basis on which same-sex couples could be legitimately differentiated from opposite-sex couples.[66]

The inquiry came to two fundamental conclusions concerning financial and work-related entitlements, first, that 58[67] laws discriminate against same-sex couples with several of these laws breaching the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976).[68] Second, many of the federal laws discriminate against the children of same-sex couples and fail to protect the best interests of the child.[69] Furthermore, it was found that these breaches of the right to non-discrimination and the failure of the law to uphold the best interests of the child, contravened other human rights principles.[70] The findings of the HREOC inquiry went through relevant federal laws to identify whether, and when, there were discriminatory criteria applied to same-sex couples and their children that were not applied to opposite-sex couples and their families.[71] Unfortunately, the HREOC report only considered the financial impact of discrimination on lesbian and gay people and their children. It did not consider the wider social implications that these discriminating policies have had on LGBTI people. The findings only touched on homophobia and gender issues as an additional element,[72] wherein it is argued that these problems should have played a prominent role throughout the HREOC report. Overall, it was found that the primary cause of discrimination in the area of financial entitlements, at a federal level, against same-sex couples lies within the definitions in law used to describe a couple or family.[73]

E) Future Law Reforms
To coincide with this report’s own investigations, the remaining part of this interdisciplinary research project will concentrate on the following three areas in regards to law reform: recognising relationships of the same-sex and their children; taxation; and superannuation. This paper will touch on the other areas addressed in the HREOC report regarding health and aged care law, social security, employment law, as well as human rights, but it will not explicitly explore these sections. Rather, this Part will investigate on the three aforementioned areas basing its evaluation on the data collected from the survey of 300 university students.

i) Recognising Relationships of the Same-Sex and their Children
The primary source of discrimination against same-sex couples in federal law conferring financial and work-related entitlements is the way in which the terms spouse, de facto relationships, partner, and other similar terms are defined.[74] Definitions such as spouse and member of a couple confer the meaning husband and wife to describe the relationships between unmarried couples. In Gregory Brown v Commissioner of Superannuation,[75] the Administrative Appeals Tribunal found that it was a requirement for the relationship to be between a man and a woman for the definition to be considered under the couple term.[76] For instance, the Medicare legislation defines a de facto spouse as, ‘a person who is living with another person of the opposite sex on a bona fide domestic basis although not legally married to that other person’.[77] Hence, currently under federal law, same-sex relationships are not entitled to be treated equally to opposite-sex couples in a myriad of laws conferring financial and work-related entitlements.

In Australia, numerous areas of social and legal policy affect the LGBTI community and their children. Importantly, there is a distinct lack of information about how such families are formed and how they function in this country.[78] It is asserted that without good quality information, decision-makers and policy-makers either ignore same-sex couples and their children, or continue based on assumptions that arguably are inappropriately drawn and inaccurate.[79] The Honourable Justice Alastair Nicholson AO RF wrote,
[W]ithout the recognition of all family relationships, equality – the cornerstone of democratic society – is missing; public acknowledgment of private affections, commitments, interdependencies and identities is denied.[80]
The recent introduction of the interdependency relationship category to certain federal laws has arguably created two types of relationships: those involving persons who are federal government employees and those relationships that work in the private workforce. It creates inconsistencies with definitions in federal, state and territorial laws.[81] This is why the rulings in the HREOC report are so vital, as the cornerstone of democratic society is equality and the principle that different groups of society, for example government or non-government employees, should be treated equally.

As aforementioned, much of the discriminatory effect of federal law is the result of restricted definitions of marriage-like relationships.[82] Pieces of legislation that do not define these have forced a reversion to the common law definitions which, it has been held, exclude same-sex couples.[83] Arguably, this is because in Australia, common law has founded a large portion of its criminal rulings on Biblical law.[84] Hence, one of the key reasons opponents denounce these amendments is that God has standards expressed in the Bible condemning homosexual acts.[85] This was particularly evident in the surveys, with religious sentiment written on a vast majority of replies. Whereas, an average 75 per cent of those surveyed for this paper felt that same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples,[86] only 64 per cent of those surveyed believed that this minority group should be allowed to adopt children.[87] In addition, 25 per cent felt that LGBTI people should not be allowed to get married.[88] This corresponds with the latest galaxy poll, which surveyed 1100 people aged 16 and over.[89] It found that 71 per cent believed same-sex de facto couples should be entitled to the same legal rights as heterosexual de facto couples, while only 57 per cent supported same-sex marriage.[90]

It is asserted that recognising relationships of the same-sex and their children comes down to more than financial and work-related entitlements. A large portion of society now supports equal entitlements, but for some reason, the same people do not support complete equality when it comes to adoption and marriage. It is argued that this is partly because of the longstanding religious movement that has struggled to accept same-sex relationships. The HREOC report failed to investigate why society allows financial entitlements but not the social privileges that follow on from marriage. This is why although the proposed anti-same-sex-discrimination law reforms go so far enough in protecting same-sex financial entitlements, they do not go far enough in empowering and protecting the social acceptance that goes hand-in-hand with those entitlements.


ii) Taxation
The federal taxation law system currently excludes same-sex couples from income tax benefits. Under section 995(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) the definition of spouse does not encompass lesbian and gay partners. This has ramifications for this minority group. For example, as non-biological co-parents of children they do not have access to the same income tax benefits relating to their child as heterosexual parents.[91] There is an array of rebates and tax concessions available to opposite-sex couples that are unavailable to same-sex couples.[92] These include, section 159J Dependent Spouse Rebate, section 159L Housekeeper Rebate, section 159J Child-Housekeeper Rebate, section 159J Parent Rebate, sections 159T – 169C Superannuation Rebate and section 159P Medical Expense Rebate of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth). For example, a taxpayer supporting a parent or spouse’s parent may claim a tax offset.[93] Because a same-sex partner does not qualify under the term spouse, he or she is not eligible for this benefit. For the 2005 – 06 financial year, the maximum spouses’ parent tax offset a taxpayer could claim was AUD$1448.[94] As a result, a same-sex couple could be AUD$1448 worse off than an opposite-sex couple in the same circumstances. This ultimately means that people in same-sex relationships may end up paying more tax or receive less tax benefits than those in heterosexual relationships because tax legislation does not recognise their relationship.

The HREOC report found that the solution to fix this discrimination was the same as the other segments of the report because the main problem was the narrow scope of legislative definitions of the term ‘spouse’.[95] It is asserted that the federal government should amend those definitions that discriminate against same-sex couples and their families so they are inclusive, rather than exclusive. Unfortunately, this issue of tax discrimination has been on the political agenda for some time. While the federal Labor Party was in opposition, the call to amend same-sex-discrimination against couples in Commonwealth legislation fell on deaf ears. In a media statement released during 2006, by Labor’s Shadow Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, it was repeatedly claimed that the Howard Government needed to take action to remove discrimination, ‘particularly regarding financial issues ... against same-sex couples’.[96] The claim that ‘the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General, at the time, ignored the continued discrimination faced by same-sex couples in key areas like superannuation, taxation, health and welfare benefits’[97] is supported by the findings of the HREOC inquiry.

The respondents in the survey conducted for this research paper appear to support these amendments with 77 per cent of students surveyed having heard of these amendments and 54 per cent agreeing with the proposals.[98] However, 34 per cent of Australian Catholic University students did not support the amendments, which was the largest divergence between this university and Griffith University.[99] Comments such as, ‘I do not believe there is discrimination in federal legislation which is why I do not support any changes’[100] or ‘it is their choice to live in sin and their choice to have unequal treatment’[101] clearly indicated the divide in respondents. It is asserted that comments such as these signify the resistance, in the community, to accept same-sex relationships. The survey also indicated that a significant proportion of students were undecided, with 18 per cent not knowing or unsure of the issues.[102] Supporting amendments to the federal taxation laws will undoubtedly create an economic benefit for same-sex couples, a benefit that opposite-sex families have thus enjoyed.

iii) Superannuation
Superannuation is the primary way in which Australians save for their retirement, totalling over AUD$751 billion at the end of 2005.[103] At present, in relation to superannuation tax benefits, ‘the same-sex partner of a federal government public servant is not entitled to death benefits, unless the deceased joined the public service after 1 July 2005’.[104] Recent changes to the Commonwealth legislation under the Superannuation Legislation (Choice of Superannuation Funds) Act 2004 (Cth) provided for a member in a same-sex relationship to nominate their partner to receive their superannuation benefits upon their death. However, the legislation did not amend the laws that cover the superannuation of federal government employees. Furthermore, recent amendments to Super Contribution Splitting are not permissible to same-sex couples as they are to heterosexual relationships. This inequality once again comes down to the definition of spouses, which only covers married and de facto heterosexual couples and not interdependency relationships that includes same-sex couples.[105]

The tax concessions for superannuation are Australia’s largest tax expenditure, estimated at AUD$15.52 billion in revenue forgone in 2005 – 06.[106] The ability of individuals in same-sex relationships to make voluntary contributions allowing additional tax concessions should be applied universally. Same-sex couples and their children should reap the same benefits as opposite-sex relationships, no more, no less. Hence, currently before Parliament is the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws – Superannuation) Bill (2008) which would afford federal government employees equal entitlements upon retirement.


It is clear that the lack of legal recognition has a real and daily impact on the lives of thousands of LGBTI Australians, wherein millions of dollars should be returned to same-sex couples as it is in opposite-sex relationships.[107] While the Australian government should eliminate discrimination in the current superannuation regime, it is important to remember that the regime provides sizeable subsidies enabling the accumulation and intergenerational transfer of wealth in superannuation.[108] The LGBTI community has largely been unable to accumulate this wealth, which has created an intergenerational affect on both same-sex partners and their children. Although the HREOC report does not outline the failure of the governments inaction in forgone payments, the inquiry should have estimated how much this has already cost the community and whether compensation should be delivered to the partners and their children that have already lost financial entitlements.

The federal government expects these changes to be implemented by the middle of 2009.[109] What should be remembered is the high proportion of survey respondents who believed that those in same-sex relationships were disadvantaged socially or economically in Australian society.[110] Across both Griffith and Australian Catholic Universities, 64 per cent felt that members of the same-sex community were lacking in rights. One male Griffith University student wrote on the survey, ‘We live in a democracy, but, they are not given the same rights as others’.[111] Time and time again, the topic of marriage was raised, with 72 per cent of students surveyed believed this minority group should be entitled to marry legally under Australian law.[112] These results were also reflected in a recent poll by The Age, which showed that 79 per cent of respondents support same-sex couples being able to marry.[113] These statistics reveal two prominent conclusions; first, that Australians are aware of the inequalities in the law; and second, that they support changes to allow a person’s love to be celebrated in the form of marriage. While the possibility of an extension of marriage to same-sex couples seems to be off the political agenda of both major parties,[114] same-sex couples should be recognised as fully and equally as de facto spouses in terms of their financial entitlements regardless of whether they government or private workforce employees.

Overall, in conclusion to Part E, it is simple to remove discrimination against same-sex couples in federal financial and work-related entitlements, as it is only the definitions in the 58[115] laws that require any alteration. The HREOC report notes that:
[T]here is no need to rewrite federal tax legislation, superannuation legislation, workers’ compensation legislation, employment legislation ... or any other major area of federal financial entitlements. There just needs to be some changes to a few definitions at the front of each relevant piece of legislation.[116]
The government’s anti-same-sex-discrimination law reforms will start providing equal treatment for those in same-sex relationships, but it is once again the stigma that surrounds being in a homosexual relationship that should be recognised. The survey demonstrates that even at a place of higher education, students either do not know or cannot see that the law clearly discriminates against those in same-sex relationships. If society is truly going to move forward both the HREOC findings and programs tackling homophobia in the community should be implemented.

F) Additional Steps Required for True Equality
The issues of homophobia will continue unless the stigma surrounding same-sex couples is addressed. It is asserted that amending these 58[117] financial and work-related federal laws that discriminate against LGBTI couples and their children will help minimise the divide. By the government taking this step to end discrimination against same-sex couples it will send a message that homophobia is not acceptable. The Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Graeme Innes said,

While same-sex attracted people are made to feel different or are stigmatised or
discriminated against, whether it be because of laws or attitudes, we have a
situation in which homophobia is given room to exist.
[118]
The federal government’s move to create equality is to be congratulated. During my own time at University, I have been a residential advisor for over 450 on-campus students and have found that the number of students coming to me over issues of homosexuality and social and legal equality has drastically increased over the past few years. In regards to the study undertaken across Griffith University, although the majority of students supported the LGBTI community, a notable portion of the 26 per cent of students surveyed who did not believe that the law discriminated against the LGBTI community made sadistic and vicious comments;[119] words full of hate, ranging from ‘homosexuals should die’[120] to ‘gay and lesbian people are like animals’.[121] This investigation, while uplifting in a majority of aspects has also been draining. I had forgotten that discrimination and homophobia remain, even in a place of higher learning where one might expect a greater appreciation and tolerance of community diversity.

Amending the laws that discriminate against same-sex relationships is just as important as amending the hysteria and social stigma that surrounds homosexuality. A clear example of this intertwined discrimination and social stigma can be seen in Australia’s blood donation service. A male cannot donate blood if he has had male-to-male intercourse, regardless of the stability in the relationship. This is strictly limited to males, not, as one may expect, to a heterosexual woman who has engaged in anal sex.[122] In addition, a person cannot give blood if they suspect they have had sex with a bi-sexual male.[123] A twelve-month deferral is applied to anyone answering yes to either of these questions, which on first glance may seem logical although the Australian Red Cross Blood Service screens donated blood for the HIV virus and other sexually transmitted diseases.[124] It is asserted that not allowing a homosexual male to donate blood creates a stigma that all male same-sex couples have a sexually transmitted disease. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is openly sustaining this stigma in the community, which intertwines being a homosexual with the HIV virus. It is the symbolism of this negative connection that carries as much weight as any discriminating piece of legislation. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service was contacted, but declined to comment; referring this author to their website. Disappointingly, however, this form of discrimination was never written in any findings in the HREOC report.

Despite large opposition, it is a fact of life that relationships can commence, develop and grow without any conscious plan on the part of the parties to the relationship. In Bryson v Bryant[125] High Court Justice Kirby noted that:

The longer such relationships exist, the more likely it is - whether by
marriage, de facto relationship, same sex relationship or other form of human
partnership - that property interests will become involved. [If] the
relationship ends ... it will be necessary for the courts to provide for the
property consequences.[126]

Marriage provides a legal and legislative framework to govern the rights and responsibilities of parties involved. If same-sex relationships are ever going to be truly equal in Australian society, governments must recognise that allowing the LGBTI community to marry would curtail this uncertainty. The proposed amendments to the anti-same-sex-discrimination laws would be a practical and symbolic response marking an acceptance of this minority group in society, but legislating to allow same-sex marriage in Australia would provide the start of true equality.

This paper argues that any efforts to address societal discrimination must recognise that the LGBTI community has long been denied full participation in Australia. To eliminate these barriers of homophobia the government must lead change and recognise the seriousness of this issue. The need to address what amounts to deep-rooted laws that aim at intentionally dissuading people from loving their partner must be tackled simultaneously with education programs teaching Australians that being a part of the LGBTI community is not something of which a person should be ashamed. This battle will not be won in amending 58[127] laws that discriminated against the LGBTI community but rather overcome in the playgrounds and working environments of everyday Australians. Dealing with the unequal entitlements is a first step, but it is the symbolism behind being able to give blood or express one’s love and commitment, in the form of marriage, or adopt a child into a same-sex relationship, which will demonstrate that Australia provides equal rights to all, regardless of sexuality.

Conclusion
Throughout this paper, the argument has been made that the government’s anti-same-sex-discrimination law reforms will go so far in protecting same-sex financial entitlements but will not protect same-sex couples from the stigma associated with being in a homosexual relationship. In the first parts of this paper, the development of homosexual inequalities was explored as well as Australia’s long maintained mechanisms in channelling sexual relations. This paper also used its own independent research in the form of a 300 strong survey, to illustrate that Australia has progressed from its aged same-sex prohibitions to a more enlightened and egalitarian view. Drawing on the remarks from multiple sides of politics it is clear that there is only weak opposition to amending the discriminating laws in federal legislation. However, eroding the stereotyping of LGBTI people as deviant, disgusting and diseased is far more difficult. This paper used the example of the sodomy laws in Queensland to illustrate why, at both a practical and symbolic level homophobia will remain long after the Commonwealth legislation discussed in this paper is amended. Furthermore, if the Commonwealth government does not recognise that societal attitudes have changed and that Australians accept gay marriage or some similar arrangement, then LGBTI people will continue to have second-class human rights. Endorsing the HREOC report is the easy step, as the findings have already laid out what is required for equal financial and work-related entitlements. The harder step forward will be tackling the negative stigma and symbolism of same-sex relationships. It is time Australia started living up to its own unofficial anthem: I am, you are, we are all Australian.




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Appendix One: The 58 Laws that Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples and their Children
A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 (Cth)
Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976 (Cth)
Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay Territory) Act 1986 (Cth)
Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth)
Australian Meat and Live-Stock Industry Act 1997 (Cth)
Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth)
Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth)
Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (Cth)
Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959 (Cth)
Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
Defence Act 1903 (Cth)
Defence Force (Home Loans Assistance) Act 1990 (Cth)
Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Act 1973 (Cth)
Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1967 (Cth)
Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cth)
Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)
Federal Magistrates Amendment (Disability and Death Benefits) Bill 2006 (seeking to amend the Federal Magistrates Act 1999 (Cth)
Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act 1998 (Cth)
Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth)
Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulations 1989 (Cth)
Foreign States Immunities Act 1985 (Cth)
Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (Cth)
Governor-General Act 1974 (Cth)
Health Insurance Act 1973 (Cth)
Higher Education Funding Act 1988 (Cth)
Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth)
Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth)
Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth)
Income Tax Regulations 1936 (Cth)
Insurance Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1991 (Cth)
International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963 (Cth)
Judges’ Pensions Act 1968 (Cth)
Judicial and Statutory Officers (Remuneration and Allowances) Act 1984 (Cth)
Life Insurance Act 1995 (Cth)
Medicare Levy Act 1986 (Cth)
Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) Act 2002 (Cth)
Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth)
Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (Cth)
Military Superannuation and Benefits Trust Deed (made under s 5(1) of the Military Superannuation and Benefits Act 1991 (Cth))
National Health Act 1953 (Cth)
Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1948 (Cth)
Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990 (Cth)
Passenger Movement Charge Collection Act 1978 (Cth)
Pooled Development Funds Act 1992 (Cth)
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth)
Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2006/14: Members of Parliament – Travelling Allowance
Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2006/18: Members of Parliament – Entitlements
Retirement Savings Accounts Act 1997 (Cth)
Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth)
Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 (Cth)
Social Security Act 1991 (Cth)
Superannuation (Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan) Trust Deed (made under s 10 of the Superannuation Act 2005 (Cth))
Superannuation Act 1976 (Cth)
Superannuation Act 1990 (Cth)
Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth)
Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (Cth)
Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth)
Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth)


Appendix Two: Interdisciplinary Research Project Survey - Same-Sex Entitlements

1. Do you attend University, if so, what is the name of your institution?

2. Are you over the age of 18?

3. Are you male or female?

4. Do you believe Australian law discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual (LGBT) people?
a. Why?

b. Why not?

5. Do you believe that same-sex couples are disadvantaged socially or economically?
a. If so, how?

6. Do you consider relationships of the same-sex should have the same rights as heterosexual relationships?
a. Why?

b. Why not?

7. Do you believe the current Australian laws sufficiently protect the LGBT community?
a. How?

b. Why?

8. Have you heard of the Rudd’s governments plans to implement changes to law to amend discrimination in Commonwealth pieces of legislation?
a. Do you support these changes?

9. Do you support the LGBT community?
a. To adopt children?

b. To be entitled to get married?

10. Do you believe politicians or the courts to be the main player in changing the laws to represent equality before the law?


Appendix Three: Interdisciplinary Research Project Survey: Same-Sex Entitlements - Waiver
You are being invited to voluntarily participate in the above-titled study. The purpose of the study is to understand the self-archiving behaviours of University students in higher educational facilities in Brisbane. You are eligible to participate because you are either a student or academic at Griffith University and Australian Catholic University. If you agree to participate, your participation will involve completing a survey of 10 questions, which should take no more than 5 minutes. You may choose not to answer some or all of the questions. Your name will not appear on your completed survey, no identifying information is being collected as part of this survey. Any questions you have will be answered. You may leave the survey at any time before completing it. There are no known risks from your participation and no direct benefit from your participation is expected. There is no cost to you except for your time and you are not compensated monetarily or otherwise for participation in this study. Only the principal investigator will have access to the direct information that you provide. You can obtain further information from the principal investigator, Dean Jones, at 0407-111-495. If you have questions concerning your rights as a research subject, you may call Griffith University at (07) 3875-7700. By participating in the survey, you are giving permission for the investigator to use your information for research purposes. Thank you. Mr. Dean W. Jones (Undergraduate Student)



Appendix Four: Message from Administrator
Thank you for taking the time and participating in this interdisciplinary research project. This has been a voluntary survey into understanding at both Griffith University and Australian Catholic University students’ perception on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/ transsexual (LGBT) people. Results from this survey will be used to write the administrator’s research paper into the development of same-sex law reforms in Australia. In particular, the researcher aims to uncover the political movement that followed these reforms and shed light on LGBT groups. It will canvas the current legal principles governing LGBT groups and theories as to the roll political parties and courts play. In relation to the survey that you have voluntarily participated in, the information gathered will bring a societal viewpoint with the aim of assembling the public perception on same-sex law reforms.

Further Information:
The Human Right and Equal Opportunity Commission, in 2007, released a report on discrimination against same-sex relationships.[128] This was a national inquiry, focusing on financial and work-related entitlements and benefits. The findings illustrated a raft of federal laws that discriminate against same-sex couples and families. The report also discovered that those laws breached the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in relation to the best interests of the child. It found that same-sex couples were discriminated against in relation to 58 laws and were excluded from definitions describing de facto couples, as the interdependency category does not give full equality to same-sex couples. In addition, children of same-sex couples are excluded from some definitions describing parent-child relationships. It was also noted that same-sex couples and families cannot access the same financial and work-related entitlements as opposite-sex couples and families, such as under employment, workers’ compensation, tax, social security, veterans’ entitlements, health care, family, superannuation, aged care, and immigration laws.

For further information, please visit the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission on http://www.hreoc.gov.au/. In addition, write to your local member of parliament on the principles of non-discrimination, equality before the law and the best interests of the child; all fundamental values of all human rights.

Appendix Five: Percentage Analysis Question 4 – University Divided (Male and Female)

Appendix Six: Statistics for Answer 4 – Pie Chart



Appendix Seven: Percentage Analysis Question 5 – University Divided (Male and Female)


Appendix Eight: Statistics for Answer 5 – Pie Chart


Appendix Nine: Percentage Analysis Question 6 – University Divided (Male and Female)


Appendix Ten: Statistics for Answer 6 – Pie Chart


Appendix Eleven: Percentage Analysis Question 7 – University Divided (Male and Female)


Appendix Twelve: Statistics for Answer 7 – Pie Chart


Appendix Thirteen: Percentage Analysis Question 8a – University Divided (Male and Female)


Appendix Fourteen: Statistics for Answer 8a – Pie Chart


Appendix Fifteen: Percentage Analysis Question 8b – University Divided (Male and Female)


Appendix Sixteen: Statistics for Answer 8b – Pie Chart


Appendix Seventeen: Percentage Analysis Question 9a – University Divided (Male and Female)


Appendix Eighteen: Statistics for Answer 9a – Pie Chart


Appendix Nineteen: Percentage Analysis Question 9b – University Divided (Male and Female)


Appendix Twenty: Statistics for Answer 9b – Pie Chart


Appendix Twenty-One: Percentage Analysis Question 10 – University Divided (Male and Female)


Appendix Twenty-Two: Statistics for Answer 10 – Pie Chart


Appendix Twenty-Three: Interview with Rainbow Labor Queensland

Personal Questions
Name: Sean Leader (Co-Convenor – Rainbow Labor Queensland).
Have you attended a University, if so which institution?
Yes (UQ - 1987; BCT – 1988-1992; QUT – 2008).
How long have you been working for the Queensland Labor Party?
I have been a Campaign Volunteer / Branch Member – since 1994.
I am not a paid employee of ALP (that only applies to State Office staff).

It was noted:
It has been difficult to answer many of the questions below.
Some seem directed to ALP (Qld) policy aspirations and objectives (as are set out in the Platform document/s debated and adopted annually by union and branch delegates at the State Conference – within the ALP itself).
Some seem directed to Queensland Parliamentary Labor Party (i.e. Caucus) plans (timetables / inclusions) for implementation of Platform – within the Legislative branch of government.
Some seem directed to Queensland Government policy (i.e. Cabinet decisions made by Premier Anna Bligh and her team) – as leading the Executive branch of government.
We have made the best possible attempt below to answer these questions. We can only speak on behalf of the RLQ group in relation to current ALP policy.

Party Specific Questions
Does the Queensland Labor Party believe Australian law discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual (LGBT) people?
Page 151 of the current Queensland ALP Platform (adopted at State Conference 2008) – under the Social Justice, Youth and Community Services chapter (at the heading “Social Justice for LGBTIQ Queenslanders” – states
Labor will:
Implement and maintain legislative safeguards to protect and enhance the
rights of all people who identify as LGBTIQ.
Labor will:
Review existing legislation to remove provisions which discriminate
against LGBTIQ Queenslanders.
These provisions implicitly confirm the recognised presence of discrimination in the Queensland community and Labor’s efforts to eliminate the same.
(Rainbow Labor Queensland is officially titled the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intergendered and Queer Reference Committee of the Australian Labor Party (State of Queensland) and ALP policy uses the LGBTIQ acronym in the Platform. Most of the policy references made here will be to this same page of Platform – which is also enclosed for your reference.)
Does the Queensland Labor Party believe that same-sex couples are disadvantaged socially or economically?
If so, how
On the same page, Platform states:

1.1 Traditionally, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, intergendered or queer have experienced individual and systematic discrimination within the Australian community. Labor believes government has a responsibility to ensure this discrimination is eliminated.

Does the Queensland Labor Party consider relationships of the same-sex should have the same rights as heterosexual relationships?
Yes. As Platform states:
Labor will:
Ensure that all Queenslanders have access to the same rights, including (but not limited to) access to adoption, reproductive and parenting rights and formal recognition of same-sex couples.

We understand that recent/current reviews of both adoption (State Government) and surrogacy laws (Queensland Parliament) have considered this particular section of Platform during debates within both the full Labor Caucus and the relevant Select Committee/s (which are temporary cross-party committees to address specific policy issues) and Ministerial Legislation Committee/s (MLCs are also known as Backbench Committees – which are voluntary groups within the Caucus which provide policy feedback to State Government Ministers on their portfolio topics and responsibilities, most often – but not exclusively – during scheduled parliamentary sittings).
This would have been the Child Safety MLC for Minister Keech; and (the Labor Caucus members within) the Investigation into Altruistic Surrogacy Committee.
a. Why?
Platform states:
2.1 Labor believes that every LGBTIQ person is entitled to full participation in the community.
2.2 Labor believes that people who identify as LGBTIQ have the same rights to live, work, learn and enjoy life in our community as any other citizen.
2.3 Labor believes there is a need for education about the rights of people who identify as LGBTIQ and the community’s responsibility to respect and maintain these rights.
b. Why not?
Not applicable.
2. Does the Queensland Labor Party believe the current Australian laws sufficiently protect the LGBT community?
By “the current Australian laws”, if you mean Queensland (State) law, the answer is NO and Labor is working to address this. Please see the answer to Q.4 above.
If you mean Commonwealth law, these are not addressed by the State Platform but by the Federal Platform adopted at the triennial National Conference in Sydney (last held in April 2007). We would give the same answer – but are not able to quote the specific provisions for this answer.
a. How?
Our Apologies – but this question is too broad to answer in details.
b. Why?
Same answer as for Q.7 (a) immediately above.
3. Is Queensland a progressive State in relation to same-sex law reforms?
There have been many massive changes to Queensland State legislation under the Goss (1989-1996), Beattie (1998-2007) and Bligh (2008- ) Labor Governments.
RLQ members (from our meetings and discussions over recent years) would tend to believe we are moving towards this goal – and are currently better than other States and Territories and the Commonwealth on some issues, but not on others.
4. Will the Queensland Labor Party support changes to Queensland legislation to reform any legislation that discriminates against the same-sex community?
As far as RLQ and Platform go, YES. Please see the answer to Q.4 above.
a. If so, which pieces of legislation?
The timing, prioritisation and provisions of legislative change are questions for the Caucus and the Cabinet. As RLQ and the ALP itself, we are not able / empowered to answer such questions.
5. What is the Queensland government’s response to the Rudd’s governments plans to implement changes to law to amend discrimination in Commonwealth pieces of legislation?
Again, this is a question for Cabinet (for the Executive branch of State Government) or Caucus (for the Legislative Branch of State Government) to answer.
a. Does the Queensland Labor government support these changes?
We understand that debates in the House (Queensland Parliament) have indicated both the Cabinet and the Caucus to be strongly supportive of the Rudd Government’s proposed and recent amendments to Commonwealth statutes (written laws) and regulations.
RLQ and the Queensland ALP have certainly been very keen to welcome these announcements (but we are not the State Government).
6. How does the Queensland Labor Party support the LGBT community?
RLQ is written into the Rules (constitution) of the Queensland ALP – the only State / Territory Branch to be included thus.
We have a (small) annual operational budget and receive support from the Lead Organiser (one of the senior staffers) at State Office. Every person who is a member of the Queensland ALP (on joining and at annual renewals) receives the option to identify as LGBTIQ and join RLQ by ticking a box on the standard form.
RLQ supports the LGBTIQ community through participation in community events such as the Brisbane Pride Fair Day and the (coming) Sunshine Coast Pride Fair Day. We have received messages of support for these events from (former) Premier Peter Beattie and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (also as Opposition Leader in 2007).
RLQ contributes to policy debate within the ALP; and thereby informs the work of the Queensland ALP members who serve in Cabinet and Caucus in their efforts to support the LGBTIQ community and to remove discrimination.
a. Would the Queensland Labor Party support same-sex couples adopting children?
Yes – I refer to Platform section 1.1 as quoted in the answer above to Q.6.
b. Would the Queensland Labor Party support same-sex couples entitlement to get married?
Marriage is a Commonwealth responsibility – and therefore does not fall under the Queensland State Platform.
Current Federal Platform supports relationships recognition equality up to – but NOT including – marriage itself.
Section 7.12 (p.85) of the Citizens Rights section of the Justice and Governance chapter of the Queensland Platform states:
7.12 To ensure that all couples who have a mutual commitment to a shared life do not suffer discrimination because they are not married, and in furtherance of and to ensure constituency with the National Platform of the Australian Labor Party, Labor in government will develop nationally consistent relationship registration legislation that will include the opportunity for couples who have a mutual commitment to a shared life to have that relationship registered and certified. This legislation will:
(a) be based on the scheme that exists in Tasmania and that the
Victorian government has announced its intention to introduce; and
(b) not create a scheme that mimics marriage or undermines existing
laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman.

This provision exactly matches a provision at Section 13 of Chapter 13 - Respecting Human Rights and a Fair Go for All – of the 2008 ALP Federal Platform.
RLQ does not yet have a formal position on this issue (although many of our members have voiced personal objections to the tone of 7.12(b)) but we will be holding a Policy Forum before State Conference 2009 and participating in policy formation within the Party prior to Federal Conference 2010 – the next body to amend Federal Platform.
7. Do you, personally believe, politicians or the courts to be the main player in changing the laws to represent equality before the law?
Constitutionally, Queensland and Australia both observe the Westminster separation of powers doctrine. This means that changes to statute law are made by the Parliament (i.e. the elected representatives / politicians). The unfolding expression of common law is as presented by the courts through case decisions – but can be countermanded by statute under the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty (as happened when the Marriage Act 1961 (Commonwealth) was amended in 2004.
The question is not one of belief, but of fact – as stated above.
8. For change to occur, does it need to come from the political system or public?
Public pressure and acceptance certainly assists both Cabinet and Caucus to maintain their resolve in implementing Platform.
RLQ members believe in achieving change WITHIN the political system: hence our membership of the Queensland ALP and, specifically, RLQ.
Some of us – as members also of other community organisations – believe it can also come from OUTSIDE the political system (and strive in our workplaces, higher education institutions, social networks and community groups to advance change there as well).
These are personal reflections – and obviously not ALP policy. (Not because Platform does not recognise change there: but that it is specifically limited to addressing policy and change WITHIN the scope of the Queensland ALP.)
9. What projects are currently supported by the Queensland Labor Party that aid and support the same-sex community?
As stated above in Q.6 (for the State Government) and Q.11 (for the ALP).
10. Are there any future reforms, on the Queensland Labor Party’s agenda, in relation to same-sex reforms?
YES – for the Party (ALP and RLQ), as stated in answer to Q.1 above.
Platform also states:
Labor will:
4.1 Fund community awareness programs which promote a positive image of LGBTIQ Queenslanders.
4.2 Fund community organizations to provide appropriate assistance to LGBTIQ Queenslanders in areas such as
a) respite care
b) lifestyle and family support
c) accommodation
d) advocacy, and
e) information and educational services.

For Caucus and the Cabinet, these answers (and their timing) are beyond our scope.
11. Does the Queensland Labor Party believe homophobia to be a large problem in Queensland?
Yes – hence our answers in section 1.1 to Q.5 above; and in section 2.1 to Q.6 (a) (i.e. the need for community education).
Is this an issue of sex discrimination?
We are not sure what this question means. Discrimination of the basis of gender identity is illegal in Queensland.
Community attitudes – particularly to people who are evidently self-expressive as non-normative-heterosexuals (i.e. LGBTIQ) – still need to change: hence our membership of RLQ and the Queensland ALP and our efforts to effect such change, both in Platform and in Government actions (by legislation and programs).
12. Does the Queensland Labor Party believe that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual is a choice?
Labor Platform does not address the issue of whether LGBTIQ persons choose that identity, are formed thus by their nurture/environment or are born thus (inherently/ genetically).
Labor Platform starts at the presumption of self-identification and works from there. The Platform does not consider the source of LGBTIQ identity.
13. Does the Queensland Labor Party believe that same-sex law reform is an issue on human rights?
Yes – for ALP and RLQ. Multiple examples from Platform are provided above.
14. What are some of the greatest challenges that face the same-sex community?
Community education and acceptance; full equality of substantive legal rights; elimination of violence and discrimination – would be our personal answers.
15. Does Queensland have a powerful same-sex lobby group?
RLQ is not in a position to comment on other organisations and their effectiveness. Funding, staffing and advocacy from “lobby groups” varies between Australian States and Territories and at a Commonwealth level.
RLQ makes its own contributions to the policy debates (within the ALP and within the LGBTIQ community) and Government decisions (in legislation and programs) wherever and whenever we can.
Additional comments?
Thank you for the opportunity of providing these responses.
Our apologies for the delay in making such provision.


Appendix Twenty-Four: Interview with Queensland Greens Party

Personal Questions
1. Name: Glenn Martin
2. Have you attended a University, if so which institution? I attended the University Of Queensland
3. How long have you been working for the Queensland Greens Party? I have been working and volunteering at the Qld Greens for about 9 months.
Party Specific Questions
4. Does the Queensland Greens Party believe Australian law discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual (LGBT) people?

Unfortunately there are many laws that discriminate against LGBTI people in Australia. Many laws that were to the disadvantage of this group in relation to Superannuation and other financial areas are being removed but there still remains many laws that discriminate against this group.

5. Does the Queensland Greens Party believe that same-sex couples are disadvantaged socially or economically?
a. If so, how?

Socially, same-sex couples are disadvantaged and marginalised in the community due to the law not accepting same-sex marriage and adoption rights. Many of the economic disadvantages are being rectified by the current Labor Government after the Greens have been pushing for the changes for years. This is a very positive step.

6. Does the Queensland Greens Party consider relationships of the same-sex should have the same rights as heterosexual relationships?
a. Why?
b. Why not?

The Qld and Australian Greens believe that freedom of sexuality and gender identity are fundamental human rights. Therefore they should be able to live their lives with the same rights and freedoms that heterosexual people and couples are able to enjoy.

7. Does the Queensland Greens Party believe the current Australian laws sufficiently protect the LGBT community?
a. How?
b. Why?

The current Australian laws do not sufficiently protect the LGBTI people. They create a division in the community between heterosexuals and everyone else. The current discrimination has been fuelled by the Governments conservative nature. The Greens want the laws to be changed to allow full equality for all Australians.

8. Is Queensland a progressive State in relation to same-sex law reforms?

Unfortunately, the Labor dominated Queensland government has created a conservative state when it comes to same-sex law reforms. In Queensland, the age for gay male sex is 18, the highest of all the states; it is unfair and outdated. The Greens in every state have been pushing for full rights and freedoms for the LGBTI community for years.

9. Will the Queensland Greens Party support changes to Queensland legalisation to reform any legislation that discriminates against the same-sex community?
a. If so, which pieces of legsitalation?

We will support any legislation that removes discrimination against same-sex couples.

10. What is the Queensland government’s response to the Rudd government’s plans to implement changes to law to amend discrimination in Commonwealth pieces of legislation?
a. Does the Queensland Greens government support these changes?

Yes, we support this legislation as it is long overdue. However, we do not believe the Federal Government is going far enough. Partial equality is not enough.

11. How does the Queensland Greens Party support the LGBT community?
a. Would the Queensland Greens Party support same-sex couples adopting children?
b. Would the Queensland Greens Party support same-sex couple’s entitlement to get married?

The Qld and Australian Greens have been pushing for same-sex marriage and adoption rights for years. In addition to these, the Greens have wanted the removal of all laws to be removed that are discriminatory to the LGBTI community.

Furthermore, the Greens will support:
- Nationally consistent age of consent laws
- Remove convictions for consensual homosexual acts from legal records
- Initiate national anti-discrimination public education campaigns
- Fund services to support and protect LGBTI youth, in particular suicide prevention, peer support and counselling and housing services and programs.
- Require governments and their agencies to consult with LGBTI communities and representative groups on the development of policies and programs that affect LGBTI people.
- Support the granting of political asylum on humanitarian grounds to people persecuted in their own countries on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity.
For the full list of Greens policies please go to greens.org.au/policies or http://greens.org.au/node/794 for our list of policies on sexuality and gender identity.
12. Do you, personally believe, politicians or the courts to be the main player in changing the laws to represent equality before the law?
Under our system of government, the legislature has the role of altering our laws, and while the Greens support judicial decisions that are in line with community values as they progress, it is the responsibility of politicians to remove discrimination from our legal code. Nevertheless, it is the public who votes on who they want to be making these laws. A vote for the Greens is a step towards guaranteeing that the LGBTI community will be protected and supported.

13. For change to occur, does it need to come from the political system or public?

Both. Numerous polls have already indicated that the majority of Australians are in support of gay marriage. However, Penny Wong and the Federal Government say that this isn’t true and their refusal to legalise gay marriage is in line with the Australian public. The public needs to take a stronger stance and show the government that we are not willing to allow discrimination in our laws.

14. What projects are currently supported by the Queensland Greens Party that aid and support the same-sex community?

Due to limited resources and funding, the Qld Greens will support and endorse projects that are occurring if they inform us of what they are doing and ask for our support.

15. Are there any future reforms, on the Queensland Greens Party’s agenda, in relation to same-sex reforms?

Please refer to Q11.

16. Does the Queensland Greens Party believe homophobia is a large problem in Queensland?
a. Is this an issue of sex discrimination?

Homophobia is a problem in Queensland and the rest of the country. People are still discriminated against because of their sexuality and gender identity. How can the government expect discrimination to stop within the community if they refuse to bring an end to it in our law and government.


17. Does the Queensland Greens Party believe that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual is a choice?

Choice implies that a person is in control of the decision. Someone’s gender identity and sexuality is something that most people have little control and choice over. Even if it was a choice for people, the government has no right to say who can and can’t marry based on sexuality.


18. Does the Queensland Greens Party believe that same-sex law reform is an issue on human rights?

Same-sex law reform is an issue of human rights because the Greens believe that freedom of sexuality and gender identity are fundamental human rights. Denying lovers the right of marriage and adoption is a violation of these rights.

19. What are some of the greatest challenges that face the same-sex community?

The majority of LGBTI people will face the fear of persecution, discrimination and or rejection from society before and even after they have “come out.” It is unfair that people even have to “come out” if they are gay. Heterosexuals don’t have to tell people they are straight. Nevertheless, these societal pressures can cause huge psychological implications that include stress, depression and suicidal thoughts and actions. Consequently, the Greens want national public education campaigns to be implemented in an attempt to help reduce homophobia within the community and to provide support services for those who struggle with it.
In addition to this, the same-sex community must also face hardships such as not being able to marry, have children and up until recently even have any financial security with their partners.

20. Does Queensland have a powerful same-sex lobby group?
Additional comments?

I believe that there are numerous same-sex lobby groups that often will work collectively to be a more powerful force. In order for the Queensland Greens to have more of a voice, we need someone elected as we currently have no elected representatives on any level of government in Queensland.



[1] Keen, Lisa and Suzanne Goldberg, Strangers to the Law: Gay People on Trial, Michigan, USA, The University of Michigan Press, 1998, p.1
[2] From hereonin referred to as LGBTI. The reason the term Queer, representing the letter “Q” was not recognised was that this report followed the lead from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and did not believe this term to be representative of this particular minority community.
[3] Johnston, Craig and Paul van Reyk, Queer City: Gay and Lesbian Politics in Sydney, Sydney, Australia, Pluto Press, 2001, p. 113
[4] Schubert, Misha, ‘Law Reforms For Gay Couples’, The Age, Wednesday 30 April 2008, <http://www.theage.com.au/news/relationships/law-reforms-for-gay-couples/2008/04/29/%201209234919838.html> (30 July 2008)
[5] From hereonin referred to as HREOC
[6] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, National Inquiry into Discrimination against People in Same-Sex Relationships: Financial and Work-Related Entitlements and Benefits, Sydney, Australia, May, (2007), pp. 22 – 23
[7] Refer to Appendix One: The 58 Laws that Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples and their Children
[8] Sims, Adam, ‘Rudd Government Moves On Same-Sex Discrimination’, Department of Attorney-General, Wednesday 30 April 2008 <http://www.attoneygeneral.gov.au/www/ministers/robertmc.nsf/Page/MediaReleases> (30 July 2008)
[9] Johnson, Carol, “Heteronormative Citizenship: The Howard Government's Views on Gay and Lesbian Issues” (2007) 38 Australian Journal of Political Science 1, at p. 50
[10] Refer to Appendices: Two to Twenty-Four
[11] Kingston, Margo, ‘Kirby Courage’, Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 05 November 2002 <http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/11/05/1036308310233.html> (30 July 2008)
[12] Keen and Goldberg, above at pp. 1 – 2
[13] Willet, Graham, Living Out Loud: a History of Gay and Lesbian Activism in Australia, Melbourne, Australia, Allen and Unwin, 2000, p. 196
[14] Willet, above at pp. 108 – 110
[15] Refer to Appendix Twenty-Four: Interview with Queensland Greens Party, Question 12
[16] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 16 – 17
[17] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 16
[18] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 16
[19] Iain, Clacher, ‘Fears Same-Sex Reforms Will Be Stripped’, Melbourne Community Voice, Friday 05 September 2008 <http://mcv.e-p.net.au/news/same-sex-reforms-will-be-stripped-3966.html > (10 September 2008)
[20] Porter, Geoff, ‘Christians and Homophobia (3)’, Melbourne Community Voice, Wednesday 24 September 2008 <http://mcv.e-p.net.au/letters-to-the-editor/christians-and-homophobia-3-4101.html> (30 September 2008)
[21] Bull, Melissa, Susan Pinto and Paul Wilson, ‘No. 29 Homosexual Law Reform in Australia’, Australian Institute of Criminology: Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, January 1991 <http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/ti29.pdf> (30 July 2008)
[22] Family First Party, ‘Australia Votes: View Family First Party Responses’, Australia Christian Lobby Website, 2008, <http://australiavotes.org/policies/index.php?election_id=1&topic_ids=all&party_ids=13> (30 July 2008)
[23] In 2004, a report commissioned by the NSW Attorney General’s Department showed that violence against gay men and lesbians had changed little in the last ten years. Attorney General’s Department of NSW, You shouldn’t have to hide to be safe: A report on Homophobic Hostilities and Violence against Gay Men and Lesbians in New South Wales, NSW, Attorney General’s Department, 2003
[24] Johnston and Reyk, above at pp. 37 – 38
[25] Straus, Murray and Richard Gelles, ‘Societal Change and Change in Family Violence from 1975 to 1985 as Revealed by Two National Surveys’ (1986) 48 Journal of Marriage and the Family 3, pp. 465-479
[26] Toonen v Australia (1994) 1 PLPR 50
[27] s25, Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (QLD)
[28] ss 208 and 215, Criminal Code Act 1899 (QLD)
[29] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Discussion Paper: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, National Inquiry into Discrimination against People in Same-Sex Relationships: Financial and Work-Related Entitlements and Benefits, Sydney, Australia, April, (2006), p. 13
[30] Examples listed in the: Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Discussion Paper: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, National Inquiry into Discrimination against People in Same-Sex Relationships: Financial and Work-Related Entitlements and Benefits, Sydney, Australia, April, (2006), p.13
[31] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at pp. 117 – 118
[32] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 122
[33] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at pp. 116 – 117
[34] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at pp. 130 – 131
[35] Croome, Rodney, ‘Do Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People Need a Bill of Rights?’ (2003) Austlli: Australian Journal of Human Rights <http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/AJHR/2003/6.html> (05 August 2008)
[36] Sant, Kathy, ‘Two-Steps Backwards, Not an Inch Forward with John Howard: Gay and Lesbian Rights and the 2001 Australian Federal Election’, NSW Gay and Lesbian Lobby Group, University of Sydney, 2002 <http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/publications/wordisout/archive/02sant.pdf> (30 July 2008)
[37] Sant, above ONLINE
[38] Former Prime Minister John Howard, Press Conference Transcript (27 May 2004), Capital Monitor
[39] Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Choice of Superannuation Funds) Act 2004 (Cth) Schedule 2
[40] Loader, Matthew, ‘Recognising Same-Sex Relationships: Ideas and an Update from South Australia’, Word Is Out, June 2003 <http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/publications/wordisout/archive/07loader.pdf> (01 August 2008)
[41] Australian Coalition for Equity, ‘Civil Unions in Australia’, Australia Marriage Equity Inc (2008) <http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/civilunions.htm> (30 July 2008)
[42] Tasmania Joint Standing Committee on Community Development, Report on Amendments to the Relationships (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2003, Parliament of Tasmania (2004), p. 7
[43] Commonwealth of Australia, Special Gazette No S93, Attorney-General’s Department, 14 June 2006
[44] Marriage Amendment Act 2004 (Cth)
[45] Australian Coalition for Equity, above ONLINE
[46] Refer to Appendix Two: Interdisciplinary Research Project Survey - Same-Sex Entitlements
[47] Refer to Appendix Four: Message from Administrator
[48] Refer to Appendix Five: Percentage Analysis Question 4 – University Divided (Male and Female)
[49] Appendix Two: Interdisciplinary Research Project Survey - Same-Sex Entitlements, subject no.: 78
[50] Appendix Two: Interdisciplinary Research Project Survey - Same-Sex Entitlements, subject no.: 211
[51] Refer to Appendix Twenty Two: Statistics for Answer 10 – Pie Chart
[52] Refer to Appendix Twenty-Four: Interview with Queensland Greens Party, Question 8
[53] Refer to Appendix Twenty-Four: Interview with Queensland Greens Party, Question 10
[54] Refer to Appendix Twenty-Four: Interview with Queensland Greens Party, Question 6
[55] Refer to Appendix Twenty-Three: Interview with Rainbow Labor Queensland, Question 3
[56] Refer to Appendix Twenty-Three: Interview with Rainbow Labor Queensland, Question 5. Please note, when I contacted the Attorney-General’s Department in July to prepare answers to twenty short questions, they accepted and then withdrew only days before the interview. Over the next month, I was given the run-around, e-mailing and calling the department over 15 times. To this day, there has been no reply to these questions from the Attorney-General’s Department only reassurances that people were looking into the questions, which the Queensland Greens Party were able to complete within one-week of receiving the communication. The Liberal National Party were also contacted to comment on this paper, but declined. Hence, the Rainbow division of the Labor Party were contacted and their response was the only possible one to balance this paper.
[57] Refer to Appendix Twenty-Three: Interview with Rainbow Labor Queensland, Question 6
[58] Refer to Appendix Twenty-Four: Interview with Queensland Greens Party, Question 19
[59] Refer to Appendix Twenty-Four: Interview with Queensland Greens Party, Question 19
[60] Refer to Appendix Twenty-Three: Interview with Rainbow Labor Queensland, Question 3
[61] ss 208 and 215, Criminal Code Act 1899 (QLD)
[62] Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon Media Release, (22 June 2006); Laura Tingle, ‘Federal Ban on Aiding Same-Sex Rights Enquiry’ AFR (22 June 2006) at p. 5
[63] Refer to Appendix One: The 58 Laws that Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples and their Children
[64] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 389
[65] General Comment No. 18 (1989), [13]
[66] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Discussion Paper: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, National Inquiry into Discrimination against People in Same-Sex Relationships: Financial and Work-Related Entitlements and Benefits, Sydney, Australia, April, (2006), p. 13
[67] Refer to Appendix One: The 58 Laws that Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples and their Children
[68] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 36
[69] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 36
[70] These are: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention. Noted at Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, National Inquiry into Discrimination against People in Same-Sex Relationships: Financial and Work-Related Entitlements and Benefits, Sydney, Australia, May, (2007), pp. 36 – 54
[71] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at pp. 361 – 370
[72] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at pp. 361 – 370
[73] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 16
[74] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 63
[75] (1995) 21 AAR 378
[76] Gregory Brown v Commissioner of Superannuation (1995) 21 AAR 378 at 33
[77] s5, National Health Act 1953 (Cth)
[78] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at pp. 16 -17
[79] Millbank, Jenni, ‘From Here to Maternity: A Review of the Research on Lesbian and Gay Families’ (2003) 38 Australian Journal of Social Issues Australian Journal of Social Issues 4, p. 541
[80] Nicholson, Alastair, ‘The Changing Concept of Family: The Significance of Recognition and Protection’ (1997) 6 Australasian Gay and Lesbian LJ 13 at p. 14.
[81] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 61
[82] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 63
[83] Commonwealth v Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1998) 52 ALD 507
[84] Denike, Margaret, ‘Religion, Rights, and Relationships: The Dream of Relational Equity’ (2007) 22 Hypatia 1, p.p. 79 - 80
[85] Denike, above p. 78
[86] Refer to Appendix Ten: Statistics for Answer 6 – Pie Chart
[87] Refer to Appendix Eighteen: Statistics for Answer 9a – Pie Chart
[88] Refer to Appendix Nineteen: Percentage Analysis Question 9b – University Divided (Male and Female)
[89] News.com.au, ‘Majority Support Same-Sex Marriage: Poll’ Thursday 21 June 2007 <http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21942737-5007133,00.html> (30 July 2008)
[90] News.com.au, above ONLINE
[91] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 167
[92] Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth), s159J Dependent Spouse Rebate, s159L Housekeeper Rebate, s159J Child-housekeeper Rebate, s159J Parent Rebate, s159T – 169C Superannuation Rebate, s159P Medical Expense Rebate
[93] Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth), s 159J. Subsection 159 [1] states where a taxpayer contributes to the maintenance of a dependent and the dependent is a resident, the taxpayer is entitled to a tax offset. Subsection 159J (2) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth) specifies that a dependent includes the parent of the taxpayer or of the taxpayer’s spouse.
[94] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 170
[95] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 16
[96] Labor Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, ‘A Taxing Affair: Same-Sex Discrimination’, Media Release 27 August 2006, (30 July 2008)
[97] Labor Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, above ONLINE
[98] Refer to Appendix Sixteen: Statistics for Answer 8b – Pie Chart
[99] Refer to Appendix Fifteen: Percentage Analysis Question 8b – University Divided (Male and Female)
[100] Appendix Two: Interdisciplinary Research Project Survey - Same-Sex Entitlements, subject no.: 54
[101] Appendix Two: Interdisciplinary Research Project Survey - Same-Sex Entitlements, subject no.: 105
[102] Refer to Appendix Sixteen: Statistics for Answer 8b – Pie Chart
[103] Minister for Revenue, Mal Brough, ‘Super Savings Continue Strong Growth’ Media Release 13 October 2005, <http://www.treasurer.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?doc=pressreleases/2005/089.htm&pageID=003%20&min=mtb&Year=2005&DocType=0> (30 July 2008)
[104] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p. 286
[105] Refer to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1993 (Cth), the Retirement Savings Account Regulations 1997 (Cth), and the Income Tax Regulations 1936 (Cth)
[106] Commonwealth of Australia, Treasury, Tax Expenditures Statement 2005 (2005) Item C1 at 113 and Appendix B
[107] Stewart, Miranda, ‘“Are You Two Interdependent?” Family, Property and Same-Sex Couples in Australia’s Superannuation Regime’ (2000) 28 Sydney Law Review 1, p. 477
[108] Stewart, above at p. 477
[109] Sims, above ONLINE
[110] Refer to Appendix Seven: Percentage Analysis Question 5 – University Divided (Male and Female) and Eight: Statistics for Answer 5 – Pie Chart
[111] Appendix Two: Interdisciplinary Research Project Survey - Same-Sex Entitlements, subject no.: 129
[112] Refer to Appendix Nineteen: Percentage Analysis Question 9b – University Divided (Male and Female)
and Appendix Twenty: Statistics for Answer 9b – Pie Chart
[113] Senator Hanson-Young, Commonwealth, Get with the Program: Australia is Ready for Same-Sex Marriage, Greens Party, 01 August 2008, <http://greens.org.au/node/1668> (30 August 2008)
[114] Stewart, above at p. 476
[115] Refer to Appendix One: The 58 Laws that Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples and their Children
[116] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, above at p 10.
[117] Refer to Appendix One: The 58 Laws that Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples and their Children
[118] Marley, above ONLINE
[119] Appendix Six: Statistics for Answer 4 – Pie Chart
[120] Appendix Two: Interdisciplinary Research Project Survey - Same-Sex Entitlements, subject no.: 11
[121] Appendix Two: Interdisciplinary Research Project Survey - Same-Sex Entitlements, subject no.: 180
[122] Australia Red Cross Blood Service, ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ Australian Red Cross, (2006) <http://www.donateblood.com.au/page.aspx?IDDataTreeMenu=88&parent=30> (30 July 2008)
[123] Australia Red Cross Blood Service, above ONLINE
[124] Australia Red Cross Blood Service, above ONLINE
[125] Bryson v Bryant (1992) 16 Fam LR 112
[126] Bryson v Bryant (1992) 16 Fam LR 112 at 117
[127] Refer to Appendix One: The 58 Laws that Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples and their Children
[128] Commonwealth, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Report 2007: Same-Sex: Same-Entitlements, National Inquiry into Discrimination against People in Same-Sex Relationships: Financial and Work-Related Entitlements and Benefits, Sydney, May, (2007).