08 June 2009


8 June 2009
Sexual abuse is already taking place by the Federal Government before the same-sex relationships Bill reforms, passed by the government in December 2008, come into effect on 1 July 2009.
Elderly, infirm, frail, unemployed, those living with HIV/AIDS members of our communities are about to be legislatively, but illegally, outed by the government because they have to declare any same-sex relationships they are in.
Those failing to declare such relationships, and found to be living as same-sex partners, will be penalized by Centrelink in various ways, because the government has refused to provide a grandfather clause for this legislation, the first of its kind in Australian history. The legislation has not been properly thought through by the government, and they want to get it out of the way as soon as possible before the next election is due in about 18 months time so that they will get the gay vote – so they believe.
However, those numerous community members – not forgetting that so far they have not been identified by any government statistics to show how many couples there are – will be found by various means on Centrelink’s database connections, and their private lives will be exposed to the public gaze.
This constitutes sexual abuse of these community members when they are at their most vulnerable and many will be unable to defend their situations. In other words, after lifetimes of discrimination, abuse, homophobia and bullying – just some of the aspects of the lives they have led for the past 40 or more years, when homosexuality was illegal throughout Australia, specifically for gay males, they will now have their sex lives exposed and vilified by the very government which is supposed to be introducing “equalizing” reforms for the gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS (GLTH) members of our communities.
It is quite obvious that the government expected a backlash if they introduced the change to pension age from 65 to 67 without a lead-in time, and have stated that that time will be about 8 years before the changes are GRADUALLY introduced. The backlash from the GLTH communities doesn’t worry them at all.
Well, it worries us, and we will remember that we are not considered worthy of consideration when it comes to so-called equality legislation.
To compound the illegality of the government’s position, it has refused categorically to provide marriage recognition to same-sex relationships, while touting the “fact” that gays and lesbians are now the same sorts of couples as heterosexual couples – another blatant lie.
The Centerlink advertisements, first with toothbrushes, then with towels, are demeaning and disgraceful, because the advertisements state “couples are couples” but decline to show two gay or lesbian people on one side in an advertisement and male and female people in the other side of the advertisement.
It is not too late for the government to provide a grandfather clause and provide peace of mind to elderly, frail, disadvantaged, unemployed, ill people in the GLTH communities and show they are able to be humane after all, at considerable savings financially to the whole community in health services, both mental and physical.

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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm