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'Rights Lobby applauds State Government's commitment to registering relationships'
This media release was issued by the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby on 24.4.07.
The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (VGLRL) has commended the State Government on its proposal to introduce a relationships register to Victoria.
The initiative will allow couples, irrespective of gender, to register their relationships and have formal recognition at law.
"This is a significant moment for all Victorian couples who are mutually committed to sharing their lives together," said Lobby male co-convenor Gerard Brody. "We congratulate the State Government on this proposal".
"The relationship register will build on the important legislative reform undertaken by the State Government in 2001, with the passing of the 'Relationships Acts'," said Mr Brody. "That law reform provided same-sex couples the same theoretical rights as mixed sex (de facto) couples under Victorian law. This new initiative will enable couples to have certification of their relationship and improve their access to justice in practice".
"In the past, the inability of same-sex couples to have conclusive proof of their relationships without expensive recourse to the Courts made it difficult for them to access the equal rights accorded to them under the 2001 'Relationships Acts' reforms. Couples will now be able to use certificates issued under the initiative to prove their relationships in their dealings with government, administrative bodies and the courts, as well as with employers, landlords and providers of health and other goods and services."
Female co-convenor Aly M welcomed the non-discriminatory basis of the proposal.
"This proposal allows same-sex couples' relationships to be recognised symbolically and in practice on the same basis as mixed sex relationships," she said.
Ms M also said that the Lobby looks forward to working with the State Government on the proposal.
"To be successful, the Government will have to work with the community so that the relationships register will have the broadest possible coverage and the widest possible support," said Aly M.
"We look forward to working with the Government over the coming months to ensure that the relationships register will build on similar proposals by numerous local governments".
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