Australia may have started as a penal colony, but its lovely citizens definitely know the meaning of social justice. Or, most of them, at least. 57% of the nation approves of gay marriage, proving once again that Prime Minister John Howard’s severely out of step with his people.
The Prime Minister recently reiterated his disapproval of gay marriage:
We are not in favor of discrimination but of course our views on the nature of marriage in our community are very well known and they won’t be changing.
In light of the new nuptial numbers, Human Rights Watch urges Howard to change his homophobic ways.
In a strongly worded letter, advocacy director Boris Dittrich writes:
I urge you to express your public support for the reportï¿½s recommendations, and work to eliminate all forms of discrimination in law and policy that endanger families formed by lesbian and gay couples.
Dittrich goes on to cite a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission which found,
Same-sex couples and families get fewer leave entitlements, less workers’ compensation, fewer tax concessions, fewer veterans’ entitlements, fewer health care subsidies, less superannuation and pay more for residential aged care than opposite-sex couples in the same circumstances. Same-sex couples are denied these basic financial and work-related entitlements because they are excluded from the definitions describing a couple. Federal law after federal law defines a “partner” or a “member of a couple” or a “spouse” or a “de facto spouse” as a person of the opposite sex.
In total, the Commission found 58 federal laws that discriminate against gays. These laws, of course, suit Howard and his conservative base just fine.