Same Sex: Submissions
Thank you for the opportunity to make a public submission to the National Inquiry into Discrimination against People in Same Sex Relationships: Financial and Work-Related Entitlements and Benefits.
Please note that my submission is confidential.[Note – the author later gave permission for the content of the submission to be public but for his name to remain confidential]
I [details removed] [have been] in a same sex relationship for 13 years. My relationship is recognised by all my friends and family. My partner is a beloved son in law, brother in law and uncle to my parents, siblings, nephews and nieces. His family regards me in the same way.
We are sick of having to explain to our families that we aren’t allowed to get married and that both sides of parliament recently voted unnecessarily and maliciously to allow this never to happen.
I believe that to achieve full legal equality all Federal legislation should have terms such as 'spouse', 'partner' 'dependent', 'family' and 'couple' redefined to include same sex partners and, where relevant, their children.
I believe that Commonwealth legal recognition of same sex relationships including families parented by same sex partners would have a positive impact on my relationships, family life, productivity at work and financial security, among other areas of my life.
I have experienced discrimination in the context of Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. In 2004 I was diagnosed with depression, necessitating multiple visits to an expensive medical specialist. I was denied access to the Medicare Safety Net because my partner is of the same sex. This discrimination not only left me out of pocket, but the blatant unfairness of it led to a worsening of my condition.
I have since recovered, but I now have an understanding of how insidious legal discrimination against gay and lesbian people can be. I hope my story provides useful in your inquiry.