27 November 2008

Finally, same rights to super savings for same-sex couples

The Human Rights Commissioner, Graeme Innes AM, today welcomed the passage of legislation guaranteeing equal rights to superannuation savings for Commonwealth public servants.

“Members of same-sex couples now have the security of knowing that their partners will inherit their superannuation savings,” Commissioner Innes said.

The new superannuation legislation is part of a series of bills that remove discrimination against same-sex couples in Commonwealth laws.

These reforms have been made in response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2007 report, Same-Sex: Same Entitlements. This report recommended the amendment of 58 laws that discriminate against same-sex couples and their children in areas of financial and workplace benefits.

During our Inquiry same-sex couples told the Commission about the impact of discriminatory superannuation laws. One person said: ‘We are all citizens and there should not be one superannuation law for my brother and a different superannuation law for me.’

“This reform is long overdue and I congratulate the government on moving to remove the discrimination against people simply because of who they love,” Commissioner Innes said.

“I look forward to the passage of the remaining legislation before the end of the year.”

Commissioner Innes said that the passing of this legislation today was an important step on the road to full equality for same-sex couples.

Media contact: Brinsley Marlay 02 9284 9656 or 0430 366 52