Thursday, October 30, 2003

Gay financial equality

Although I suspect that Australia’s proponents for gay marriage are an altogether different lot from the gay monarchist crowd (a la Michael Kirby), I think that the two groups have more in common than they would care to admit.

While the pro-gay marriagers are less screamingly self-parodic than the gay monarchists, they share a barren campery, a recherché affection for a faded, moth-eaten institution. It’s not that I’m entirely an Insensitive New Age Poof – 100% sentiment free – but in my more optimistic moments (yes, there are some), I believe that we (meaning gaydom at large) are better than that, and the last thing gay talent should be squandered on is the pursuit of the lowest common denominator – aka status equality.

Anyway, I’ve previously blogged on my fence-sitting about gay marriage. Financial equality, on the other hand, is just common sense. While I’m not very worked up about the failure of the superannuation amendments to get through parliament (rich gays will find a loophole I’m sure, and the rest don’t have enough money to even worry about it), this letter from Darryl Wood highlights a serious, disturbing anomaly. Same-sex relationships are regarded as full partnerships by Centrelink, at least as an excuse for reducing welfare benefits.

This is rank, searing discrimination – unless same-sex relationships are financially equal to straight partnerships in all respects, such status should not be capable of invoking any financial penalty.

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