Kicking A Lion

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Posts Tagged ‘australia

Boost for same-sex military couples from the Australian Defense Force

SAME-SEX relationships in the Australian Defence Force have moved a step closer to formal recognition following the introduction of commonwealth laws ensuring equal treatment of financial benefits and superannuation payments to personnel regardless of sexual preference.

The laws, to be introduced on January 1, mark a significant step forward in the recognition of same-sex relationships for ADF members, Defence Science and Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon said yesterday.

The Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws — Superannuation) Act 2008 ensures same-sex couples are treated the same as heterosexual couples for the purposes of the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act 1948 and the Defence Force Retirement and Deaths Benefits Act 1973.

“Same-sex partners of ADF members will no longer be denied the payment of death benefits from superannuation schemes,” Mr Snowdon said.

“What these laws do, is they’re a continuation of our election commitment to remove same-sex discrimination from a broad range of commonwealth laws. Defence is encouraging a fair, safe and very inclusive workplace where we respect all persons regardless of their sexual inclination.”

ADF service members in same-sex relationships would now receive exactly the same conditions of service as those in married or de facto relationships, he added.

The tax concessions on death benefits, which are currently available only to heterosexual couples, will from January 1 be available to same-sex couples.

“These changes further reinforce the ADF’s commitment to recognition of same-sex relationships, seen in areas such as the Defence Home Owners Scheme and access to Royal Australian Air Force veterans’ residences,” Mr Snowdon said.

In 1992, under pressure from the Keating Labor government, the ADF lifted its ban on openly gay and lesbian soldiers.

At the time, the change in policy met strong resistance from service chiefs and defence service organisations, but the issue has since faded from the public stage, after it failed to fulfil warnings it would damage defence recruitment and combat-effectiveness.

Experts say evidence of the lifting of the gay ban on ADF members is scarce, but indicates there has been no decline in operational effectiveness.

The latest changes come in the wake of significant and continuing reforms to the national military justice system.

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December 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm

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Gay psychologist “sees the light”

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December 17, 2008 at 3:13 am

Pink Power: Australia’s Most Influential Gays

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December 17, 2008 at 3:12 am

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Australian Gay Basher Ordered to Pay $40k

“A Cairns District Court judge ordered Daniel Leigh Proud, 23, to pay compensation for the bashing, which left Gary Michael Jamieson, 53, with serious brain injuries. The court was told Proud repeatedly kicked and punched Jamieson after he made advances during a fireworks display on the Cairns Esplanade in the early hours of January 1, 2006.

In June 2006, Proud was jailed for 42 months, to be released after 14 months, after he pleaded guilty to assaulting Jamieson and causing him grievous bodily harm. Then acting Chief Judge Tony Skoien was told that after the attack, Proud told police he hated homosexuals.

The court was told Jamieson suffered a seizure and arterial bleeding to the brain. Prosecutor Sussann Bell told the court Jamieson was openly gay and a neighbour of Proud.

Proud told police Jamieson was “hitting” on him sexually during the New Year celebrations and that he “got up and snapped”. Judge William Everson last week granted Jamieson a total of $38,250 in compensation for the physical and psychological injuries he suffered in the attack.”

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December 16, 2008 at 4:47 pm

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Gay activist urged to get a sense of humour over Telstra ad

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December 15, 2008 at 5:01 pm

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Australia mulls official ‘intersex’ gender

CANBERRA, Australia, Dec. 6 (UPI) — The Australian government’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission is pushing for “intersex” to become an officially recognized gender. 

The commission distributed a paper entitled “Sex Files — The legal recognition of sex: Proposed reform” among transgender and transsexual advocates that supports adding “intersex” to the recognized genders of male and female for use on passports and driver’s licenses, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

“Recognition of intersex: Persons who cannot or do not identify as either male or female would be able to choose to be identified on their birth certificate and passport as intersex,” the paper reads. “A person who cannot or chooses not to undergo surgery would not be automatically ineligible to request a change in their legal sex.”

However, some transgender lobby groups said the proposed move would not go far enough and requested a fourth option, “other,” be made available for those who would not fall under the “intersex” label because they believe their gender is indefinable or constantly changing.

“The AHRC proposal does not go far enough in providing legal status and social spaces by only allowing people to be male, female and intersex,” said Sex and Gender Education Australia spokeswoman Tracie O’Keefe.

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December 7, 2008 at 3:43 pm

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Australia: Relationships register begins for unmarried/gay couples

Written by kickingalion

December 1, 2008 at 12:25 am