Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Three Cheers for Oz and Mexico!

Labor Party and Green Party members of the state parliament of South Australia have announced that they'll be filing a marriage equality bill soon.  The states of Tasmania and Victoria have recently done the same.  At present, the states of Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania have same-sex civil unions, and Canberra, ACT, has civil partnerships.

In all states and territories, same-sex couples have de facto couple status with the federal government, the same as heterosexual cohabiting couples.  As such they receive the benefits of:  joint Social Security and Veterans' entitlements, employment entitlements, superannuation, workers' compensation, joint access to the Medicare Safety Net, hospital visitation, immigration rights, inheritance rights, and the ability to file a joint tax return and gain the same tax rebates as married couples.

Additionally, polls found that a full 62% of Australians now support full marriage equality, and more and more MPs in the national parliament are coming out (no pun intended!) in favor of marriage equality.  Green Party MP Adam Bandt recently delivered this heartfelt speech in the House of Representatives.  Good on ya, Oz!

At the same time, Mexico's House of Representatives has voted to extend Social Security benefits to same-sex couples.  The rule change will provide benefits to both private and government employees and their same-sex spouses/partners.  The Mexican Senate must now vote on the bill.

In August Mexico made headlines when its Supreme Court upheld a law granting marriage equality in Mexico City, and also ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to adopt.  Marriages performed in the Mexican capital must also be recognized in all 31 Mexican states, the court ruled, even if the individual states do not perform the marriage ceremonies.

Viva la igualdad!  (Viva equality!)


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