Same-sex discrimination (HREOC inquiry)

3 04 2006

Further to my post about same-sex civil unions, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission is conducting an inquiry into financial and workplace discrimination against same-sex couples:

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) is concerned there has been a piecemeal approach to stamping out such discrimination.

Commonwealth, state and territory laws will be scrutinised for examples where same-sex couples are denied benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

The inquiry will have a particular focus on leave, social security and tax, as well as workers’ compensation, superannuation and veterans’ entitlements.

The inquiry will collect examples of discrimination, along with accounts from people who have experienced it.

Should be interesting. (And doubtless it will re-ignite calls from the usual suspects for the abolition of HREOC).

While we’re on the subject, and via Morons.org, a Republican politician in Tennessee is arguing that gay couples adopt children with the intent of molesting them. Before you say “Only in America,” it is worth remembering that only 5 years ago the Australian Family Association was placing ads in the West Australian claiming that the Lesbian and Gay Law Reform Bill (which among other measures lowered the age of consent for gay men from 21 to 16) would lead to men having sex with 13-year-old boys. It is perhaps also worth remembering that the WA Libs went to the last state election proposing to recriminalise homosexuality under the age of 18.

And it is definitely worth revisiting–if only for a little light relief–the half-baked collection of slippery-slope arguments and appeals to ignorance that is the AFA National Vice-President’s 2004 piece on same-sex marriage, including such pearls of wisdom as:

[On discrimination against gays and lesbians:] “Helpful and welcome discrimination takes place in society all the time.”

“No homosexual is denied the right to marry, if he should so choose to marry someone of the opposite sex.”

[On gay love and sex:] “Such a dangerous threat to public health and safety should not be ennobled or dignified, certainly not by governments who have the duty and responsibility to promote the health and wellbeing of all its citizens.”

And my personal favourite:

“It is not marriage that tames the male, but women.”

UPDATE: Sorry–I couldn’t let this pass. From deep inside the corridors of Boltwatch:

[devilsadvocate:] We are treating homosexuals exactly the same as anyone else by allowing them to marry a person of the opposite sex.

[Me:] That is beyond callous. Obviously homosexuals don’t want to marry persons of the opposite sex.

I can just picture you in the pre 1960s American Deep South: “Sure, black folks down here have the right to marry. They can marry other black folks. They just can’t marry white folks. That ain’t discrimination!”

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