May 1, 2008

Anthony Albanese welcomes moves on same-sex discrimination

Anthony Albanese welcomes moves on same-sex discrimination

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

May 1 2008

Legislation to remove same-sex discrimination from a wide range of Commonwealth laws will be introduced by the Rudd Labor Government in the Budget Sittings of Parliament.

The announcement, which was made by Attorney-General Robert McClelland, has been welcomed by Anthony Albanese MP.

“I have been fighting for basic legal equality for same-sex couples since I was elected to Federal Parliament in 1996.”

“On 5 separate occasions since 1996 I introduced the Superannuation (Entitlements of Same Sex Couples) Bill to the House of Representatives. These reforms will make the intent of that Bill a reality.”

“Labor will reform at least 100 pieces of legislation. It will be a proud moment for me and the Labor Party when this action is taken,” said Anthony Albanese.

This long-overdue reform follows the landmark report of HREOC, Same-Sex: Same Entitlements, which focussed on financial and work-related legislation. On coming to office, the Rudd Government commissioned an audit of Commonwealth laws, which identified other areas of discrimination.

The changes will provide for equality of treatment under a wide range of Commonwealth laws between same-sex and opposite-sex de facto couples. Importantly the reforms will also ensure children are not disadvantaged because of the structure of their family.

Areas where discrimination will be removed include tax, superannuation, social security, health, aged care, veterans’ entitlements, workers’ compensation, employment entitlements, and other areas of Commonwealth administration.

“It is a clear example of the kind of progressive reform which only comes from Labor Governments and is a far cry from what occurred under the Howard Government where the only legislative reform to recognise same-sex couples as family members was antiterrorism legislation,” said Anthony Albanese.