Australia to amend laws to end same-sex discrimination

[JURIST] The Australian government will introduce legislation to amend over 100 federal laws [press release] to remove discrimination against same-sex couples [JURIST news archive], Australian Attorney General Robert McClelland [official profile] said Wednesday. The legislation, which will be introduced during the winter sitting of parliament and is expected to be implemented by mid-2009, will not allow same-sex marriages. Many of the amendments to be proposed are based on a June 2007 report [text] by the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission [official website], recommending legislative changes to 58 federal laws [JURIST report] to end discrimination against same-sex couples in areas such employment, workers' compensation, veterans' entitlements, health care subsidies, family law, senior care and immigration law. AP has more.

A national poll also released in June 2007 found that a majority of Australians support same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive]. The poll, conducted by Galaxy Research [corporate website] and reported by political group GetUp! [advocacy website] found that in a sample of 1100 Australians over the age of 16, 57 percent support same sex marriage [press release and results, PDF], while 71 percent support giving same-sex couples identical legal rights as "those in a heterosexual de facto relationship."

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