Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Raise the terror alert to RAINBOW; there are Gays and Lesbians everywhere!

I'm really quite impressed what Tasmania has done for Gays and Lesbians in our society this year. It's forward thinking at its best. I'm proud to be a Tasmanian.


Media Release
Tuesday November 17th 2009
Tasmanian gay activists have welcomed today's announcement by the Tasmanian Government that couples entering State Deeds of Relationship can now have officially-recognised ceremonies involving celebrants and witnesses.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said the new ceremonies will allow same-sex couples to declare their love and commitment in front of friends and family members in a way which is dignified, solemn and has official recognition.
"Until now, registering a Deed of Relationship has been a dry, administrative process, but the Government's initiative allows it to be linked to, and marked by, an officially-recognised declaration of love and commitment overseen by a celebrant and witnessed by loved ones", Mr Croome said.
"This will allow same-sex couples to have that special day on which their friends and family members gather to officially and publicly celebrate a couple's union."
"Our hope is that this will increase the numbers of couples who take advantage of the greater legal security and social recognition that comes with registering a Deed of Relationship."
"The Tasmanian Relationships Act is a world-class body of law, and now that body has a heart."
From today, changes to official regulations mean parters entering Tasmanian Deeds of Relationship are able to nominate the date they conduct their relationship ceremony as the date their Deed of Relationship is to be registered with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. As part of the ceremony an official certificate of relationship is signed by the partners, their celebrant and witnesses to mark the commencement of the Deed of Relationship.
Under the Relationships Act, passed in 2003, couples in Deeds of Relationship have the same rights in state law as married couples. Following the passage of last year's national same-sex entitlements law, state registered partners are also recognised in federal law.
Mr Croome said the new Deed of Relationship ceremonies should not be confused with marriage.
"The recognition of personal relationships in state law was never intended as a substitute for equality in marriage, something which same-sex couples still do not have."
Last week the A.C.T. Legislative Assembly amended the Territory's Civil Partnership Act to allow for same-sex partnership ceremonies.
A legislative amendment was not required in Tasmania because the Relationships Act has allowed for the possibility of official ceremonies from its inception.
Mr Croome said the new Tasmanian ceremonies puts pressure on the Rudd Government to allow the ACT to also have official ceremonies.
"With officially-recognised ceremonies allowed in Tasmania, the Federal Government has no grounds upon which to ban them in the A.C.T.", Mr Croome said.

Ceremonies will not begin to occur until December, due to the 28 day period it takes to process applications for Deeds of Relationship.


As at September 30th this year 145 couples had entered a Deed of Relationship with 9 revocations. Of the remaining 136 recognised couples 52 are male couples, 51 female couples, 31 opposite-sex couples and 2 caring couples.
These figures are exactly proportional to the number of partners who have entered civil unions in New Zealand since 2004.
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668. For comment from a registered marriage celebrant who conducts same-sex commitment ceremonies, contact Peter Power on 0417 017 105.


Media Statement
Tuesday November 17th 2009


A Tasmanian Government law giving legal parental status to the same- 
sex partner of a woman who has a child through fertility treatment  
has passed its final hurdle and will now become law.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome,  
said the move will bring legal peace-of-mind to many Tasmanian  

Womens' Legal Service Managing Solicitor, Susan Fahey, said her  
service will now begin the process of educating same-sex couples,  
their families and the broader community about the impact of reform.

This afternoon the Tasmanian Lower House accepted Upper House  
amendments making the legal recognition of co-mothers  
retrospectively effective from the passage of the Relationships Act  
in 2003 when same-sex relationships were recognised in other  
Tasmanian laws.

The retrospectivity amendment was proposed by Windermere  
(Launceston) Upper House member, Ivan Dean, to compensate for the  
failure of the Upper House to support co-mother recognition when it  
was first proposed by the State Government as part of the  
Relationships Act six years ago.

Tasmanian Attorney-General, Lara Giddings, who this morning  
announced the commencement of officially-recognised relationship  
ceremonies in Tasmania, said the Government was "pleased and  
surprised" that the traditionally-conservative Upper House had made  
good its previous failure to recognise co-mothers by not only  
supporting the new law but making it retrospective.

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668 or Susan  
Fahey on 0418 434 226.

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