Big changes proposed to anti-discrimination laws by new Labor government

Girls standing back to back [Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Premier-elect, Daniel Andrews, has been working hard to bring positive change to Victoria’s discrimination laws just days after winning office.

Hours after resuming the newly appointed role of Equality Minister, Martin Foley took no time to promise changes to Victoria’s adoption laws to bring it on par with the adoption laws of NSW, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

The proposed amendments to Victoria’s adoption laws would address:

  • Same-sex couples’ current inability to adopt a child who has been living with them under their foster care;
  • Step-parent’s inability to adopt their partner’s children;
  • Same-sex couples’ present inability to jointly adopt children conceived via IVF

The Victorian Labor government has committed to:

  • Require government secondary schools to employ support programs for gay students
  • Revise the Relationships Register so that same-sex couples married overseas can have their relationships recognised in Victoria
  • Rewrite equal opportunity laws to make it more difficult for faith based organisations such as schools to discriminate against employees based on their sexual orientation or religious beliefs
  • Repeal section 19A of the Crimes Act 1958 to remove discrimination of people carrying the HIV virus.

Mr Foley’s appointment as minister for overseeing LGBT rights is the first of its kind in the history of Australian politics.

Anna Brown, co-convenor of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, has called on the Coalition government to adopt Victoria’s approach and appoint a shadow spokesperson on the issue.

Sources:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victoria-state-election-2014/australias-first-minister-for-equality-to-reform-gay-adoption-laws-20141206-121oyk.html

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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