This is far from being an ideal outcome, but at least it’s a start:
The Federal Government says it will begin introducing legislation next month to remove same-sex discrimination from 100 Commonwealth laws.
The Government says the amendments to end discrimination against same-sex couples will make practical differences, but will not sanction changes to marriage laws.
The move will cover areas like superannuation, tax, health, employment entitlements and aged care.
But Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland says it will not extend to marriage.
“The government believes that marriage is between a man and a woman so it won’t amend the marriage act,” he said.
The government’s position is manifestly unjust, and simply nonsensical in the absence of some appeal to religious dogma (which, this being a secular liberal democracy with a secular liberal democratic constitution, it has no business appealing to). Its moves to end discrimination in other areas of Federal law only serves to highlight how unjust and nonsensical its policy of maintaining discrimination against same-sex couples in marriage laws really is.
Which means, I think, that the days of such discrimination are numbered.
UPDATE: Things could be worse. Much worse. In a high school in the United States, a principal demanded the names of all couples in the student body because she wanted to keep them under surveillance and prevent public displays of affection. When the names of a gay couple who wanted their relationship kept private were given to the principal, she outed them in front of the whole school. She then called the mother of one of the students, asked if she knew her son was gay, and told her that she didn’t like gay people and would not tolerate homosexuality at her school. Since then, the couple has been subjected to harassment by students and teachers alike, and one of the boys was not allowed to go on a school trip to New Orleans because some of the teachers were afraid that he might “embarrass the school.” The boys have been ordered by the principal not to walk to school or even study together.
The ACLU is demanding that the principal be reprimanded, but I’m with Ed Brayton on this one. The only just course of action would be to summarily dismiss the principal, along with any teachers who have been harassing the couple, for their sheer lack of professionalism. These bigoted morons and bullies have about as much business being involved in the education of children as sex offenders do, given the harm they are posing to those in their care.
UPDATE: John Wilkins writes on the Rudd Government’s law changes at Evolving Thoughts.