16 June 2006

Liberals say relationship register next step in civil union debate

| Kerces
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The ACT Opposition says the Government should take up its relationship registration scheme now the civil union legislation has been scuttled, the ABC reports.

Liberal leader Bill Stefaniak said the registration scheme, based on a Tasmanian model, would allow same-sex and heterosexual couples to register their relationships. I’m not quite clear what legal rights this would grant the couple, but at the very least it would help to prove a relationship in probate disputes.

“It doesn’t offend the institution of marriage, it doesn’t offend the Federal Government’s Marriage Act and it is a scheme that has actually been operating successfully in another state for several years now,” Mr Stefaniak said.

ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the registration scheme was not what had been asked for during consultation with same-sex couples, but that did not mean the Government would rule it out completely.

He called the registration scheme a “second best option”, but said that “we need to go back and have a fresh look at how we can guarantee and protect the rights of people in same-sex relationships, give them equal treatment under the law”.

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Did anyone else see the midly amusing rally being conducted in Garema Place at lunchtime today about this issue? Some guy started screaming at them until a copper marched him off. I found the distinct lack of enthusiasm by some of the marchers to be quite funny.

I only believe in same sex civil unions when both chicks are hot.

Simto, for str8 couples there is no legal difference. Because in all states and territory laws str8 defacto relationships are treated the same as married relationships. Importantly, in federal laws str8 defacto relationships are treated the same as married relationship (see howard can allow other relationships to be equated to and treated the same as marriage, so long as they’re str8.)

And here’s the crucial bit (at least in a practical everyday legal sense). Because str8ness is always assumed by every dickhead out there, defacto str8 couples don’t get challenged when they present together as a couple. The onus to prove the existence of a relationship is non-existent, because 1. str8ness is common 2. even the most rightwing happy clapper wouldn’t dare suggest that defacto str8s shouldn’t be equal in law to married couples. That’d be like them lobbying Howard to criminalise divorce, supported by their religious dogma.

Hope this helps. Peace.

I haven’t heard much about what happens when an officially recognised same-sex relationship (whatever it’s called) breaks down and legal entitlements need to be sorted out? Is there a same-sex word for D -I -V O- R -C- E ?

I can find a definition of a “domestic partner” under ACT law (here)

As far as I can tell, the Legislative Assembly passed an amendment act in 2003 which changed a whole bunch of legislation to use this definition instead of one for a defacto spouse.

Could someone tell me, what’s the legal difference between a defacto relationship, say, for an example, one that’s lasted fifteen years and produced two kids (I’m picking it because it’s the relationship one of my cousin’s had), and a married one? To make it clear, I’m talking about a hetrosexual defacto relationship, not a gay one.

I’m asking this basically because I want to know whether the defacto path is one that can be usefully explored.

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