The more things change……..
It was said that Kevin Rudd was Howard lite. However, one area in which there was a clear differentiation between the ALP and the Coalition was that with the exception of superannuation, Howard refused to implement the HREOC report that showed systematic discrimination at a Commonwealth level against same sex couples.
Labor said that it would. Now the Attorney- General Robert McClelland has signalled that he will identify the discriminatory pieces of legislation and introduce a bill to remove the discrimination. This approach has the bipartisan support of Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson. it appears now with Howard gone that the Opposition wants to move forward too.
Except for marriage- both major parties remain opposed to allowing same sex marriage or civil unions.
McClelland has now identified 100 pieces of legislation that discriminate…
One of those is no doubt the Judges Pensions Act. Justice Michael Kirby reportedly wrote to John Howard last year seeking to remove the discrimination that would prevent his partner Johan van Vloten from collecting a pension in case Justice Kirby died first.
Justice Kirby turns 70 in approximately one year,which is the statutory retirement age for Commonwealth judges. Let’s see if the Rudd Government can change the laws before then.