While the draft terror lawsare condemned as illiberal, let’s recognise the importance of Section 105.32,
Contacting family members etc.

It reads: “In this section: family member of a person means: (a) the person’s spouse, de facto spouse or
same-sex partner.”

So… the same-sex partner of a terror
suspect is recognised by the Government – but not the same-sex partner of a
member of the AFP, an ASIO officer or a soldier serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Great one!

The Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby has jumped onto
this one. It’s issued a media release saying the inclusion of same-sex partners
within the definition of family in the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005 highlights the
hypocrisy of the Howard Government’s decision not to recognise same-sex
relationships across all areas of federal legislation.

It points out that the move “follows the
inclusion of same-sex partner under the definition of ‘close family member’ in
the Anti-Terrorism Act (No. 2) 2004.”

At the same time, the GLRL says, the
Government continues to refuse to recognise same-sex couples across a broad
range of areas including superannuation, taxation, immigration, Medicare and
health insurance and – irony, irony – defence and veterans’ entitlements.

Peter Fray

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