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No further delay on same-sex reform: Greens.



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Sarah Hanson-Young Greens Senator for South Australia

Monday 22 September 2008

No further delay on same-sex reform: Greens

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on the Federal Parliament to pass a package of bills to remove discrimination against same-sex couples without further delay.

The Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws - General Law Reform) Bill 2008 (also known as the Omnibus Bill) amends 68 Commonwealth laws, covering 19 government departments, in order to remove discrimination against same-sex couples, their families, and their children.

“The passing of this Bill is long overdue, given that it’s nearly two whole decades since ‘sexual preference’ was added as an additional ground for discrimination under the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Regulations,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

“All sides of politics should be ready to support the speedy passage of this Bill into law, and grant those in same-sex relationships the rights they deserve.”

Senator Hanson-Young said the Greens anticipated support from the Opposition for the Bill’s intent, with new Leader Malcolm a prominent supporter of gay rights reform.

“The Greens trust that Mr Turnbull will lead the Coalition in supporting this Bill, so that it can pass into law with no further delay,” she said.

Senator Hanson-Young said once the Omnibus Bill became law, a community education campaign should be run to ensure that people were aware of their rights.

“The Greens back the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s initiative of a community education campaign, to make sure that people are educated about their rights,” she said.

“The changes that will occur once this Bill is passed will be broad-ranging, and so the community deserve to be aware of rights and entitlements that they will then be able to enjoy.”

Senator Hanson-Young will be attending the Inquiry’s next hearing tomorrow, Tuesday 23 September, from 4pm in Parliament House Committee Room 2S3.

The Inquiry will report back on Wednesday 8 October.

For more information: Gemma Clark on 0427 604 760