Senate debates

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws — General Law Reform) Bill 2008

In Committee

6:33 pm

Photo of Sarah Hanson-YoungSarah Hanson-Young (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

by leave—I move Greens amendments (3) to (6) on sheet 5634:

(3)    Schedule 2, page 24 (before line 20), before item 76, insert:

75A  Title

After ‘marital’, insert ‘or couple’.

75B  Preamble

After ‘marital’ (twice occurring), insert ‘or couple’.

75C  Subsection 3(b)

After ‘marital’, insert ‘or couple’.

75D  Subsection 4(1) (definition of de facto spouse)

Repeal the definition.

75E  Subsection 4(1) (definition of marital status)

Repeal the definition, substitute:

marital or couple status means the status or condition of being:

             (a)    single; or

             (b)    married; or

             (c)    married but living separately and apart from one’s spouse; or

             (d)    divorced; or

             (e)    widowed; or

              (f)    in a registered relationship, in accordance with section 22B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901; or

             (g)    in a de facto relationship, in accordance with section 22C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

75F  Subsection 4(1) (definition of near relative)

Omit paragraph (b), substitute:

             (b)    the spouse of the first-mentioned person or of a person referred to in paragraph (a); or

             (c)    a person who is a partner of the first-mentioned person or of a person referred to in paragraph (a):

                   (i)    in a registered relationship, in accordance with section 22B of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, or

                  (ii)    in a de facto relationship, in accordance with section 22C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

(4)    Schedule 2, page 25 (after line 25), after item 81, insert:

81A  Section 6

After “marital” (wherever occurring), insert “or couple”.

Note:   The heading to section 6 is altered by omitting “marital status” and substituting “marital or couple status”.

81B  Paragraph 7D(b)

After “marital”, insert “or couple”.

(5)    Schedule 2, page 26 (after line 20), after item 83, insert:

83A  Subsection 11(2)

After “marital”, insert “or couple”.

(6)    Schedule 2, page 27 (after line 27), after item 84, insert:

84A  Sections 14 to 27, 35, 38, 39, 41A, 41B, 42 and 48

After “marital” (wherever occurring), insert “or couple”.

These amendments relate to amending the definitions of a couple relationship in the Sex Discrimination Act, ensuring that when we talk about relationships we ensure that ‘or couple’ is inserted so that we encapsulate that this particular act will look after both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. It would read ‘marital or couple’, and obviously couple relates to same-sex or opposite-sex couples.

Question negatived.

I move Australian Greens amendment (1) on sheet 5614:

(1)    Schedule 2, page 21 (after line 16), after item 60, insert:

Marriage Act 1961

60A  Section 5 (definition of marriage)

Omit “a man and a woman”, substitute “two persons, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity”.

60B  Subsection 47(1)

Omit “a man and a woman”, substitute “two persons, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity”.

This amendment deals with amending the Marriage Act to ensure that in this particular bill, which is the general law reform bill, we enable same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples to have the same rights and entitlements as each other. There is one glaring omission from this particular bill, and that is the Marriage Act. I have flagged this numerous times. The Greens have been talking about the need for gay marriage law reform for a long time and this is the appropriate place to do this.

I have also called, as has the Australian Greens leader, Senator Bob Brown, for all sides of politics to allow for a conscience vote on this issue. It is an important issue for us to discuss. It is an important issue for us to have a decision on. When we look at the dialogue, the debate, the discussion among the Australian public, this is something that I believe people are prepared to continue talking about and would like some leadership from their parliamentarians on. There have been several polls over the last couple of years that talk about there being enormous support from the Australian public to allow gay marriage. What we are simply saying here is that if we are going to pass a suite of legislation that takes discrimination out of federal law, we have to be talking about removing discrimination in the Marriage Act as well.

Comments

No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.