Australian PM handed gay rights petition

August 13, 2007

SYDNEY — A petition containing 25,000 names and calling for an end to discrimination against Australia’s same-sex couples was expected to be hand-delivered to Prime Minister John Howard by the end of this week.

According to a report from the Australian Associated Press, Queensland Federal Liberal MP Warren Entsch hoped to present a copy of the petition to the Prime Minister because it “shows that support for removal of financial and legal discrimination is very significant.”

The petition addressed to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd reads: "Same-sex couples should have the same legal rights as de facto heterosexual couples. I call upon you to make this first step towards equality by immediately legislating to end discrimination against same-sex couples."

Entsch told the Australian Associated Press that he was hopeful the petition would help persuade the Prime Minister to implement recommendations made in a recent report by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission that found same-sex couples are denied basic financial entitlements, tax concessions and superannuation benefits available to other couples.

"He already says he doesn't support discrimination and the HREOC report shows there's a way forward," Entsch said. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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