Now Fighting For The Rights Of Gay Couples
This doesn't undo a solid decade of intolerant, prejudiced and sometimes downright nasty anti-gay behaviour from Howard & Friends, but it's a start :
The Coalition has relented to pressure and will grant to gay and lesbian couples the same rights on Commonwealth public sector superannuation as heterosexual couples.
Malcolm Turnbull, who is under considerable political pressure from the sizeable gay community in his seat of Wentworth, flagged the changes in a speech to a gay and lesbian business leaders function last night. They will be confirmed today.
While the Coalition will not grant gay couples de facto status, or adopt any of the other 58 recommendations outlined in a human rights report in June, it will allow, if re-elected, interdependent gay couples to share each other's public pensions and super benefits - as heterosexual couples do.
Labor has already promised to institute all 58 changes, saying it was unfair to discriminate financially against people on the basis of them being gay.
In 2004 such discrimination was abolished in relation to private sector superannuation.
Mr Turnbull was unsuccessful in pushing the changes through cabinet and further deliberation was postponed until after the election. But with Mr Turnbull in trouble in his seat, and his Labor rival, George Newhouse, supporting the change, the Coalition has made the promise now.
Naturally, the big change in attitude and policy comes directly as a result of plunging opinion polls on the likelihood of Turnbull holding onto Wentworth.
It's amazing how open-minded Coalition politicians can suddenly become when they're facing Howard-branded "annihilation" on election day.