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Australia To Grant Gay Couples Limited Benefits


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Australia To Grant Gay Couples Limited Benefits

by Peter Hacker, 365Gay.com Sydney, Australia Bureau

Posted: November 16, 2005 9:00 pm ET

(Sydney, Australia) Surviving partners from same-sex couples will be able to claim tax free pension benefits from their deceased partner under new regulations announced by the federal government.

Under the legislation similar rights would be extended to siblings who lived together and other in "interdependent relationships" such as adult children caring for elderly parents.

The bill would bring same-sex couples in line with the rights already held by married couples.

Each case, however, would be examined separately. Among the determining factors would be the length of the relationship, what joint property was owned and what was the degree of emotional support.

The government said that the changes would apply even if one or both partners lived abroad or if one were in jail.

"They also confirm a number of specific situations in which an interdependency relationship does or does not exist, for example, two people can be temporarily living apart and still be in an interdependency relationship," said Assistant Treasurer Mal Brough.

The legislation does not, however, go as far as the rights granted last month to gay members of the military.

In October the government announced that the same-sex partners of members of the Australian Defense Force will be granted the same benefits as the spouses of married soldiers. (story)

Those benefits include access to family benefits, and death and injury compensation. They will also get housing assistance, travel, and education assistance.

Last year the Australian government passed legislation banning same-sex marriage. (story)

©365Gay.com 2005


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