Pink News reports that the Same-Sex Entitlements Bill has passed the lower house of the Australian federal Parliament and will soon move to the Senate. The bill will remove discrimination against same-sex partners in areas like immigration, taxation, veterans' pensions and aged care.
The Australian bill sounds much like the civil union status enacted by several states here. It grows out of the Labour Party's victory in 2007. Although the previous government was hostile to recognition of same-sex couples, Labour endorsed the approach reflected in this bill, of remedying legal inequities between gay and straight couples, but maintaining that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
Meanwhile, in Portugal, parliamentary leaders are set to meet on October 10 to take up the question of recognition for same sex couples.
According to Portugal News:
Gay marriage will be debated in Parliament next month following two proposals from the Left Bloc (BE) and ‘Green’ Party, though the remaining political parties are at loggerheads as to whether or not they will allow their deputies a say in the matter…
BE proposed in 2006 that homosexuals should be able to legally wed, though only now is the proposal to be discussed. The Left Bloc’s proposition suggests an alteration to the [current] law that defines marriage as a ‘contract between two people of opposite sexes’.
BE [advocates] that marriage should be defined as ‘a solemnly formalized meeting of wills between two people who intend to build a family in full communion of life’. This is also a view shared by the ‘Greens’, though [the Greens object to adoption of children by same-sex couples]….