16 September 2009

Give us time to adjust to same-sex law reform

Same-sex law reform and pension changes are long overdue, but time is needed for transition to prevent harm for those most vulnerable, say community advocates.

From 1 July 2009, changes to Australian legislation will be enacted recognizing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) relationships in many (but not all) areas of law.

Whilst these changes are welcome, there are real concerns that negative consequences of social security reform will disproportionately impact the community’s most vulnerable members, including the elderly, people with a disability and people living with HIV or other chronic illnesses. All previous major Australian social security reforms have had transitional arrangements.

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) and 23 other community health organizations have signed a statement advocating for provisions including exempting vulnerable community members from being treated as a couple, a delay of implementation until July 2010 to allow for preparation and education, and saving provisions for pensioners.
“Reprinted from Volume 7 No 2 of HIV Australia, published by the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.”

Long past time for the government to respond to the problems they have caused so many pensioners and their partners since 1 July 2009.

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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