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Senate calls for United Nations gay documents.

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SENATE CALLS FOR UNITED NATION GAY DOCUMENTS The Senate has today called on Attorney General Philip Ruddock, to table his response to the United Nations, following the adverse findings by its Human Rights Committee against the Government’s anti-gay bias in Veterans pensions.

The resolution was moved by the Australian Democrats, and requires the tabling of the Attorney’s response to the UNHRC in the Senate no later than 15 June, following the Federal Budget session.

In August last year, the UNHRC found that Australia had breached its human rights obligations by refusing to provide a war pension to the surviving same-sex partner of a deceased veteran. It gave the Government 90 days in which to respond and remedy the discrimination.

Australian Democrats’ Attorney General and Justice spokesperson, Senator Brian Greig, says the Government is now five months overdue in responding to the UN’s request to explain itself.

"By refusing to respond to the UN’s finding, the Government is showing contempt for the UN, its international obligations and to gay and lesbian citizens," Senator Greig said.

The UN ruling required the Government to make reparation to Mr Edward Young, who lodged the complaint, if necessary by changing the law to ensure such breaches do not reoccur.

The UN gave the Attorney General ninety days to respond to its finding that the discrimination breached the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The last time the UNHRC made a similar ruling, it resulted in Federal Legislation aimed at overturning Tasmania's anti-homosexual laws.

"The Government's refusal to acknowledge existing discrimination is appalling, given the sweeping and positive reforms for same-sex couples that have occurred in every state and territory, and around the world,” Senator Greig said.

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