Law Council Supports End To Same Sex Discrimination

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30th April 2008, 12:19pm - Views: 404





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MR0708

30 April 2008



Law Council Supports End to Same-Sex

Discrimination


The Law Council welcomed today’s announcement that Commonwealth

laws which discriminate against same-sex couples will be either gone

or on their way out by year’s end.


The Government announced that it will introduce legislation in the

winter sittings of Parliament to eliminate discrimination against same

sex couples in over 100 areas of Commonwealth law.  


This includes the 58 areas identified by the Human Rights and Equal

Opportunity Commission in a report released last year, and many

further areas identified by additional Government research. 


Law Council President Ross Ray QC said, “Any step towards

eliminating discrimination brings us closer to meeting our international

human rights obligations, makes us a fairer, more just community and

ought to be greeted with strong approval.”


However, Mr Ray stressed that the job would not be complete until the

Commonwealth Marriage Act is also amended to remove legal

restrictions preventing the marriage of same sex couples.  


“As long as the Government remains intent on preserving a special

class of state-sanctioned relationship which is closed to same-sex

couples, discrimination will persist,” Mr Ray said.  


“And it will persist regardless of whether or not any Government

entitlements are exclusively available to couples within that limited

class.” 


He said the Law Council would continue to advocate for reform in this

area.


“In the end, it’s simple – all people are equal before the law and should

be entitled to the same fundamental rights,” Mr Ray concluded.



Media Contact: Elenore Eriksson,

Director Public Affairs - 02 6246 3716/0419 269 855



The Law Council of Australia exists to represent the legal profession at the

national level, to speak on behalf of its constituent bodies on national issues,

and to promote the administration of justice, access to justice and general

improvement of the law.






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