Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Australia shows movement on civil unions

During the Australian election campaign a lot was made that there was no difference between the Labor Party and the National/Liberal coalition.

What is becoming clearer is there is a fundamental shift occurring on the social and environmental issues and a new direction for Australia.

The decision to proceed with ratifying Kyoto is the most visible sign of this.

For the gay and lesbian population the signs are encouraging that same sex relationships will no longer be discriminated against.

It is also appearing that changes at the state level will bring about some form of civil union legislation.

The ACT plans for civil unions have now been revived with the exit of the conservative Howard Government in Australia which blocked the legislation last time.

In addition Victoria has announced plans to introduce a register to allow same sex relationships to be recognised.

The Federal government has indicated it will not support gay marriage, but has said it will remove discrimination against same sex couples in areas such as superannuation, taxation and other areas.

All these are positive signs.

There is still a long way to go before Australia catches up with New Zealand but it is heading in the right direction.

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