The Australian Democrats welcomed today’s announcement by Immigration Minister, Senator Amanda Vanstone that same sex partners of skilled migrants and students are finally to be recognised for immigration purposes.
“I am delighted that the Minister has accepted that there was a problem in discriminating against migrants with same sex partners and is moving to correct the anomaly,” Democrats’ Deputy Leader, Andrew Bartlett said.
“I am also pleased that the Minister is looking for this anomaly in visa categories other than skilled migrants and students.”
“This is the first step in addressing a problem which has caused a great deal of unnecessary distress for many couples and has kept many migrants from coming to Australia.”
“The Democrats have worked hard in Parliament to amend legislation where couples have been discriminated against because of their sexuality, so when the Government finally admits that they are losing out because of this puritan approach, any change in the Governments stance is a huge bonus.”
“It must not stop here, however, such irregularities exist in many pieces of legislation and I look forward to seeing changes being made in other areas including tax, Defence and Veterans’ Affairs and for amendments to legislation wiping out such discrimination being accepted by the Government,” Senator Bartlett said.