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Petition Tag - equality
More than 60% of Australians support Same Sex Marriage.
This petition is encouraging Prime Minister Julia Gillard to make Marriage Equality a policy issue at the Australian Labor Party National Conference, and not just allow a conscience vote.
It is important that we collect as many signatures as we can.. and make Marriage Equality something that is real for the many same sex attracted Australians, who remain second class citizens in our own country.
Petition calling on Boris Johnson to withdraw his invitation to The Mayor's Thames Festival.
We the undersigned call on the Mayor of London to withdraw the invitation to David Starkey to speak as part of the Mayor's Thames Festival.
In a discussion about the riots this summer on BBC Newsnight, David Starkey used race-based terminology to explain the riots, claiming '"What has happened is that the substantial section of the chavs that you wrote about have become black. The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion,"'. He also claimed Jamaican Patois has ''been intruded in England...so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country''. Comments encouraging the idea that black people and black culture lie at the root of the issues leading to the riots can only whip up racism and prejudice.
The Newsnight discussion then turned to the Mark Duggan protest. When Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, responded to Starkey saying that both white and black youth were involved in the riots, he contended that "it started as a black protest about the killing of a black man". When Owen Jones, another guest on the show, pointed out this was a peaceful protest about the shooting of Mark Duggan, and could not be held responsible for the riots, Starkey replied "it very quickly ceased to be peaceful". Quite apart from their race-bias, these comments are hurtful to the family of Mark Duggan, and also ignore the fact that the family strongly condemned violence of the riots.
The true spirit of London is not reflected in comments like these, but in the clean-up operations when people came together from all communities to repair the damage.
It is offensive and insensitive to give David Starkey a platform at the Mayor's Thames festival. Starkey's comments triggered thousands of complaints and have caused deep offence.
No one could accept that the University of Luxembourg would apply such a decision to a high-level academic, researcher, teacher and advisor like Dr. Ziegler after she has succeeded in designing, developing and directing an outstanding upper-level Master program.
The achievements of the program as well as its originality have contributed to the distinction and credit of the University of Luxembourg. Furthermore the projects within Dr. Ziegler’s research group have produced results, which are recognized by a large number of international experts and which have strong impacts on Luxembourg as a multilingual community.
The UK Disabled Community needs to send a clear and unequivocal message in one unified voice to call on the Coalition Government to see us all as equal members of society and not treat us as a tool to steal our disability benefits and services to bail out the Country in this time of Financial Crisis.
Can we set a precedence to get 1 million signatures so that the Coalition Government will have no option but to take note of us and not just ignore or deflect our arguments & comments and to stop building this climate of hate against disabled people.
Please leave a question for your Local MP to pose to the Coalition Government, which we will add to the Petition when we deliver it to No.10.
If 86,000 signatures are collected SB 172 will be placed on the ballot for 2012.
SB172 will provide legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities to spouses who have applied for civil unions in Colorado.
Benefits for these couples will include:
-Responsibility for financial support of a party to a civil union
-Rights and abilities concerning transfer of real or personal property to a party in a civil union
-The ability to file a claim based on wrongful death, emotional distress, loss of consortium, or other laws whether common law or statutory, related to or dependent upon spousal status
-The ability to inherit real and personal property from a party in a civil union under the probate code
-Survivor benefits under and inclusion in workers' compensation laws
-The ability to adopt a child of a party to a civil union
-The ability to insure a party to a civil union under group benefit plans for state employees
-Survivor benefits under local government firefighter and police pensions
-Protections and coverage under domestic abuse and domestic violence laws
-Rights and protections under victims' compensation laws and victims and witness protection laws
-Protections and responsibilities relating to emergency and non-emergency medical care and treatment and hospital visitation
-Rights to visit a party in a civil union in a correctional facility, jail, or private contract prison or in a facility receiving mental health treatment
-The ability to file a complaint about the care or treatment of a party in a civil union in a nursing home
-Rights relating to declarations concerning the administration, withholding, or with-drawling of medical treatment, proxy decision-makes and surrogate decision makers, CPR directives, or directives concerning medical orders for scope of treatment forms with respect to a civil union
-Rights concerning the disposition of the last remains of a party to a civil union
-The right to make decision regarding anatomical gifts
-Eligibility for family leave benefits
-Eligibility for public assistance benefits
-A privilege from providing compelled testimony against a party in a civil union and evidentiary privileges for both parties in a civil union
-The right to apply for emergency or involuntary commitment of a party to a civil union
-The right to claim a homestead exemption
-The ability to protect exempt property from attachment, execution, or garnishment
-Dependent coverage under life insurance and health insurance policies
Society, media, and the judicial system in Canada are constantly reinforcing myths and stereotypes about rape. These myths and stereotypes result in victim blaming and sex shaming rather than placing responsibility on the perpetrators of these crimes.
The goal of this petition is call on the federal government to take this issue seriously, restore funding to feminist initiatives and create a national strategy to end violence against women in collaboration with women's groups.
We invite you to sign this petition calling for the the federal government of Canada to make meaningful change to promote women’s equality.
This petition is a tool to open the discussions towards bringing gender neutral housing options to Temple University.
In the wake of last year's rash of GLBT bullying, many universities are bringing gender neutral housing to their dormitories in an effort to create an equal, welcoming, and comforting home to ALL of their incoming students.
It's amazing that Temple University, ranked one of the most diverse schools in the nation, is not among these institutions taking steps towards equality.
It is my hope that we are able to end historical ideology and pursue a common sense approach to providing an environment that is welcoming to all.
Social Cohesion helps bring people from different walks of like together.
Without it, there is anarchy and unrest and over the last 10 years there have been many violent rioting eg. Bradford Riots.
By showing there is Cohesion in school, we can tackle it in society.
Recently a bill has been introduced by South Australian Labor MLC Ian Hunter and Greens MLC Tammy Frank to legalise same-sex marriage. This petition aims to support this bill, giving gay couples the rights they deserve.
Many forward thinking countries recognise that the gay community should have the same opportunities to express their love and commitment.
However, Australia only recognises domestic partnerships. With your support, South Australia can lead the way to equality.
We welcome the Coalition Government’s strategy for public health, Healthy Lives, Healthy People. We particularly welcome the attention paid to taking a life course approach to public health, the focus on social determinants of health inequalities, and the linkages made between health, wellbeing and mental health.
The idea that local communities have a key role to play in determining the agenda for and ways of promoting public health is in line with the argument we have consistently made that local knowledge needs to be at the heart of policy development and practice.
Our response to the public health strategy is based on this general agreement with the Government’s overall vision for public health. However, as organisations working with racialised groups, with an in-depth understanding of the problems and potentials of these groups, we feel that there needs to be far more clarity about several key concepts, assumptions and proposals within the White Paper.
Our response, firstly, engages with some of these key concepts: health inequalities, individual responsibility and behaviours, local leadership and the idea of localism. Secondly, we examine the contribution of the voluntary sector organisations working with minority ethnic communities and the factors affecting their engagement with ‘the big society’.
We then make some recommendations on the specific proposals within the White Paper.
Britain has a 'duty of care' to its armed forces. This began as an unspoken pact between society and the military, possibly originating as far back as Henry VIII's reign. The pact was formally codified as a 'covenant' in 2000. It is not a law but is reinforced by custom and convention.
The covenant only officially applies to the Army, but its core principles are taken to extend to the Air Force and Navy too.
Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices - including the ultimate sacrifice - in the service of the Nation. In putting the needs of the Nation and the Army before their own, they forego some of the rights enjoyed by those outside the Armed Forces.
In return, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service.
In the same way the unique nature of military land operations means that the Army differs from all other institutions, and must be sustained and provided for accordingly by the Nation.
This mutual obligation forms the Military Covenant between the Nation, the Army and each individual soldier; an unbreakable common bond of identity, loyalty and responsibility which has sustained the Army throughout its history. It has perhaps its greatest manifestation in the annual commemoration of Armistice Day, when the Nation keeps covenant with those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in action.
The Covenant has been further enhanced through Cm Paper 7424 of July 2008 titled “The Nation’s Commitment: Cross-Government Support to our Armed Forces, their Families and Veterans” the Foreword was provided by the then Prime Minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown. In the Foreword he emphasises that “the demands imposed in the course of their duty are unique”,
AFPG’s STATEMENT OF INTENT
The Armed Forces Pension Group’s aim is to secure equality of pensions for former regular members of the Armed Forces who served for fewer than 22 years at any time to April 1975 and who were discharged before 5th April 1975. This also applies to those regulars who were discharged prior to 1981 who do not meet the criteria of length of service and age. We ask Her Majesty's Government for pension rights based on years of service and related, pro rata, to pensions received by contemporaries who completed 22 years of service..
There are only two groups of Crown employees: the Civil Service and the Armed Forces. Unlike the Civil Service – the only other body with a non-contributory pension scheme – we did not have a union to negotiate on our behalf neither did we wish for one such. Instead we Trusted that we would be treated fairly and on equal terms with and by the Executive (Civil Service). We also expected to be treated equally with those personal who retired after April 1975.
Instead the MoD decided to get rid of as many service personal as they could before April 1975 so they did not have to pay us pensions, how underhanded can you get.
Currently we as veterans remain “unique” insomuch that we are treated adversely compared with contemporary members of the civil service.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is an independent body responsible for enforcing equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encouraging compliance with the Human Rights Act.
In its first two years the Commission:
• ensured protection for 6 million carers against discrimination in employment
• answered over 70, 000 contacts a year to the Helpline
• resolved 80% of enforcement cases without the need to go to court
• advised 136,000 businesses about upholding equality during the downturn
• distributed £10 million in grants to 285 different voluntary groups delivering frontline services across the country
…to name but a few achievements, all this at a cost of less than £1 a year per person living in Great Britain.
The work of the Commission is now under threat. The government plans to slash its budget by 68% (compared to when it was set up in 2007).
It is likely to;
• lose more than half its workforce
• reduce its legal enforcement ability
• close its Helpline to the public, business and the public sector
• lose its regional offices
• end its grants to charities or projects disability groups and community organisations that are often the first port of call for victims of discrimination and harassment.
At a time of unprecedented cuts that will hit the most vulnerable in society hardest, far right politics scapegoating minority communities and a roadblock needed to restrict the worst excesses of an unregulated market, we must save the EHRC.
We are calling on you to work together to honor the promise of a national child care program to all Canadian families and children. Canada’s children and families deserve the right to a National Child Care System. November 2009 marked the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Canada still scores LAST amongst industrialized nations in our provision of early childhood education and care and family support policies.
The place to start is by protecting the early learning and child care agreements between the Government of Canada and the provinces. While income support for families is a valid policy goal, a taxable family allowance and a tax credit for employers will not create early learning and child care services that are high quality, available and affordable.
Families need income supports and publicly funded child care services. By supporting families with affordable, high-quality options for early childhood learning and care will benefit child development and the social and economic well-being of communities. The variations of policy across Canadian provinces has only allowed Canadians to create a disjointed system and framework, which results in inequalities for our children and families across the nation. We call on all governments to protect and enhance progress on creating a framework to support a National Child Care System.
Children in Canada and their families need high-quality, accessible, inclusive and PUBLICLY FUNDED early education and care for their children. Canada has made many attempts at implementing a national publicly funded system, but have failed each time. We hope that this will be our last attempt because we WILL succeed in convincing our government to take responsibility for Canadian children, and to give our families a real choice in the care and education of their children.
It is time for Canadians to demand a system that values children and families, and makes early childhood education and care a fundamental part of our country. We need to ask our government to commit to building the child care system that Canadians want.
Please add your name to this petition and forward to everyone who you know. The children are our future.
We will be holding a rally in Toronto on March 8th, 2011, and encourage our neighboring cities, provinces and territories to follow our lead.
For more information, or to get involved, please email us at email@example.com
To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:
The petition of the undersigned shows:
that Senator Gary Humphries engaged in acts contrary to the Commonwealth of Australia laws relating to the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) and its 1995 amendment the Racial Hatred Act by tabling a petition in the Senate calling for a moratorium on Muslims migrating to Australia and seeking a review of immigration policy to be undertaken to ensure priority is given to Christians.
Recent reports from the Teaching Council highlight the significant amount of their time that students in the five Colleges in Education spend preparing to teach denominational religious education. This is unfair because:
- people who do not hold specific Roman Catholic or Protestant religious beliefs are expected to engage in faith formation if they wish to become primary school teachers;
- newly qualified teachers leave college without preparation to teach in Educate Together schools; the fastest-growing sector in Irish education.
Join with us to call on the Minister for Education and Skills to redress this imbalance and to ensure that people of all backgrounds are equally respected in the Colleges, and that students are properly prepared to teach in any school type.
*If you are a teacher or student, please make sure to leave a comment about your experience.
46. End Inequality
Any God worth worshipping can not continue to be a god of inequality. We cannot continue to let the all male run religions set the example to the rest of the world that it is alright to discriminate because of race or sex... and is not the Will of God for it allows the justification of over 1/2 the world to live on less than $2.00 a day, while 25,000 children starve to death each day, and millions more go to bed hungry each night.
We need a better example from The Religions of our world from where God's morality flows.
Any Religion to be relevant to non-believers, as well as believers must end inequality by starting within an all male run religion that is suppose to represents the female half of God as well as the male half.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
48. PA Equality
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The CBS has enforced an “indefinite deferral” for male donors who have had sex with men.
However, deferrals range from 6 to 12 months for people who have paid money or drugs for sex (sex workers), had sex with someone who was paid money or drugs for sex (sex workers), used drugs or steroids via needles, and have had sex with someone whose sexual history/background is unknown to them.
The above-mentioned activities leave a person at risk for HIV and STIs and yet they are allowed to donate blood after the deferral period has passed, from which they began engaging in these risky behaviours/activities.
The MSM indefinite deferral also applies to MSM who are in a monogamous or long-term relationship.
The Coalition of Justice for Gay Rights finds the actions taken by the Canadian Blood Services to be unfair because it deems all sexual activity by MSM risky, but give considerations and shorter deferral times to heterosexual people engaged in sexual activities that carry risks.
On August 29, Henry Velandia and Josh Vandiver were married in Montville, Connecticut. But unlike most newlyweds, Henry and Josh aren't spending the fall sending out thank you cards or taking the honeymoon of their dreams. Instead, Henry and Josh are fighting to save their marriage.
Because of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), passed by Congress in 1996, the federal government does not recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples. As a result, Henry, who was born in Venezuela and moved to the U.S. in 2002, is facing deportation instead of settling down to build a future with his husband. If DOMA did not exist, Josh, a U.S. citizen born in Colorado, would be able to sponsor Henry for a "green card." As an American citizen, Josh is being denied the right to sponsor his spouse only because he is gay.
With Henry in deportation proceedings before an Immigration Court in New Jersey, the couple is now faced with the terrifying reality of being torn apart. Every day they fight to keep their family together, and they are not alone. Tens of thousands of gay and lesbian bi-national couples are in urgent need of assistance as they face the threat of separation, deportation or exile because of DOMA. The U.S. government discriminates against legally married same-sex couples, excluding them from more than one thousand laws, important public policies that provide protection to families including Social Security survivor benefits, provisions in the tax code, and the ability of a U.S. citizen to sponsor his/her spouse for residency. Gay and lesbian couples deserve the same protections provided for all families under federal law.
To learn more: www.stopthedeportations.com
Loving, committed, and legally married couples like Henry and Josh shouldn't have to fight against the U.S. government for the right to be together.
Tell Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to end the deportations of spouses of gay and lesbian Americans and protect married couples like Henry and Josh.
Enforce the Equality Act and the Supreme Court ruling:
On 8 April 2010, United Kingdom Parliament passed the Equality Act 2010. This was a recognition that Britain’s Black, Asian, Muslim, ethnic minority, immigrant and Lesbian/Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) communities are a permanent, growing and dynamic force in the life of this nation. The right to equality and respect that lies at the heart of this Act must be the right of everyone who lives, works or studies here: it is divisive, discriminatory and inhumane to deny equal treatment to anyone based on their country of origin.
Around the world LGBTI communities are waging a mounting struggle for liberation and for fundamental democratic and civil rights. In many of the world’s poorest and most oppressed countries, LGBT communities, encouraged and inspired by the victories and rights won by sisters and brothers in western Europe and north America, are bravely and proudly refusing to be invisible any more, often in the face of fierce persecution. This is a global movement that crosses national boundaries.
Many LGBT people have had to come to Britain to seek asylum or as immigrants, in order to continue being open as the people they are and to continue the struggle. It is completely unacceptable that for years they have been denied the benefit of the rights secured by the LGBT communities in Britain, because of racist persecution by Britain’s immigration and asylum system.
It is unacceptable that the immigration authorities routinely isolate asylum seekers from society by holding them in detention, and accuse asylum seekers of falsely claiming to be LGBT. It is unacceptable that a country that has just adopted an Equality Act, guaranteeing LGBT people equal rights to be open as who they are without facing discrimination, has been deporting LGBT refugees to the countries they have fled from and telling them to pretend to be someone they are not, by hiding their lesbian, gay male, bisexual or transgender identity.
Now the fight for LGBT asylum rights has scored a major victory. On 7 July the UK Supreme Court overturned this policy. The court ruled that it is a contravention of the 1951 Refugee Convention to return LGBT asylum seekers to their home countries on the basis that they could live ‘discreetly’ – i.e. conceal their identities.
This strengthens the earlier victory that was won on 19 May when Britain’s Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition pledged that “We will stop the deportation of asylum seekers who have had to leave particular countries because their sexual orientation or gender identification puts them at proven risk of imprisonment, torture or execution.”
At the same time, however, the Government is cynically cutting the availability of legal aid to immigrants and asylum seekers. Unless we fight to reverse this decision immigrants and asylum seekers will be unable to avail themselves of the Supreme Court decision and the Government’s promise: they will be at the mercy of the immigration authorities because they can’t afford a lawyer. Only a united, collective struggle against racism and homophobia can defeat this policy and ensure the enforcement of the words and spirit of the Equality Act and the Supreme Court decision.
To that end we pledge to look for cases and conduct campaigns that set examples of using the Equality Act and the Supreme Court decision to the full and mobilising to implement them – e.g. by speaking the plain truth about racism and homophobia, demonstrating at tribunal and court hearings, opposing immigration raids on campuses or in workplaces, stopping deportations, and organising speak-outs to expose discrimination and empower our communities.
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple (one of the four Inns of Court) is considering a proposal to use part of its premises, formerly home to a wine bar, as a site for a nursery. This would be available for use by all barristers and staff of the four Inns, and would be paid for by the parents using it. It is unlikely that another suitable site will come up in the foreseeable future.
Middle Temple's Executive Committee have agreed to oppose this idea, on the grounds that they may be able to earn more rental income if the space is used in other ways. The Benchers of the Inn will meet to decide on the proposal on June 22nd 2010.
In the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat cabinet Theresa May has been appointed as Minister for Women and Equality.
Prior to this appointment her voting record on gay rights has included:
- Voting against further discussion on the repeal of section 28, preferring to let it stand;
- Voting against lowering the age of consent in homosexual relationships to 16;
- Voting against gay adoption rights; as well as numerous other votes that have offended both homosexual and heterosexual communities. For these reasons we do not feel she is appropriate for the post of Minister for Equality.
We would like to make it clear that this campaign is not politically motivated, and is in no way a campaign against any political party.
Furthermore it is campaigning only for Theresa May's removal from this specific post, and not from any other position that she holds.
To my friends and global family,
It is time to join together to declare a new vision for our world. My intention is to have ten million people add their signature and energy to help transform human consciousness.
If you feel moved to help in this endeavor, please share the following declaration with others.
The Commonwealth has been silence on the issues of Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual & Trangendered (LGBT) people's persecutions and discrimination going on in many of its member-countries. Gay people in these countries are being denied access to healthcare, arrested and jailed, sentenced to death, exposed to public and state homophobia and denied state protection.
In the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2009) held in Trinadad and Tobago on November 27-29 2009, it was disappointing and appalling that the Commonwealth turned blind eyes to the Ugandan Anti-Homosexual Bill proposing death penalty to gay people and did not issue a statement nor discuss it even when that bill was top of the agenda for HUman Rights through out the world at that time.
Also, on the case of 2 young men arrested and detained in Malawi, charged on accusation of homosexuality since December 29 2009, the Commonwealth has kept mute and made no official statement. This means that some citizens of the Commonwealth can be denied their right just because they are gay or lesbians.
This continued silence of the Commonwealth therefore sends the wrong message to these countries and the general public that the Commonwealth supports these injustice and discrimination.
Of the 53 Commonwealth member-countries, 40 still criminalise same-sex relations, mostly under anti-gay laws that were originally imposed by the British colonial government in the nineteenth century. This is disgraceful to the Commonwealth when its core principles includes equality, non-discrimination, opportunity for all, liberty of the individual and human dignity.
If the Commonwealth continue in this silence, it is not only living short of its own principles, but it is assuring these countries that they can also ignore these pillars of justice.
Please sign this petition with us.
Currently in Canada a woman makes $0.705 for every $1.00 a man makes. This needs to be addressed! We are currently ranked 25th in the world on the gender gap index. Do we want to be known for this?
Steven Harper recently tried to change the Canadian National anthem to be Gender Neutral. This is a lame response to a serious problem. I think it is insulting that Harper has concentrated on such a backward fruitless task. We need to make sure that he does something substantial in its place!
I think it is about time something real was done. The average pay for women in each and every company needs to be on par with the average pay for men of that same company. Also these companies need to be held responsible for this requirement. Any Companies found violating this law should be fined and a portion of the fine paid to each of the effected female employees. Age, ethnicity, and religious background need to be brought into play as well.
As well a regular audit of a company’s payroll should be made to ensure that a company is being compliant. Possibly done once every 2 or 3 years for each company.
For anyone wanting to see articles about this problem I'm including some links below:
Feel free to leave additional web based sources in your comments and I’ll do my best to add them when I have time
During the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics, Canadians from all ethnicities and genders sang O Canada to celebrate our athletes and our successes. We are indeed, an "experiment gone right for a change."
The recent Federal Government Throne Speech advocated the need to examine the lyrics of O Canada to make it inclusive of all genders. That goal was prematurely abandoned by the Conservative Government; after only two days of limited dialogue.
Let it be said, all the people of Canada, stand on guard for thee, and not just thy sons command.
The 2010 Olympics were the people's Olympics because we the people of Canada stood in the streets to celebrate our athletes and our country. Now is the time to make O Canada the people's anthem. Now is the time to ensure all Canadian children see themselves as valuable citizens of Canada.
The "Honourable" Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration removed all references to Same-sex marriage, and gay equality, from the new guide for New Canadians. This was done against the repeated explicit advice of his officials.
The bigotry has been exposed by dozens of newspapers and news programs in Canada -- here are two of them:
Same-sex marriages are currently not permitted under Australian federal law. Since 2004, the Marriage Act 1961 has defined marriage as "the union of a man and a woman". In addition, Australian law expressly declares that unions between same-sex couples entered into outside the country are not to be recognised as marriage in Australia.
In all states and territories, cohabiting same-sex couples are recognised as de facto couples, and have the same rights as cohabiting heterosexual couples under state law. Furthermore, same-sex couples have access to domestic partnership registries in Tasmania and Victoria. Civil partnerships are performed in the Australian Capital Territory.
In November 2008, the Australian Parliament passed laws that recognised same-sex couples in federal law, offering them the same rights as unmarried heterosexual couples in areas such as taxation, social security and health, aged care and employment. This means that same-sex couples who can prove they are in a de facto relationship have most of the rights of married couples since 1 July 2009. Nevertheless, despite equality of rights, Australia does not have a national registered partnership or civil union scheme.
In August 2009, a same-sex marriage bill was introduced by a member of the Australian Greens who pleaded with the government to take into mind that the majority of Australians support same-sex marriage and thereby pass such legislation. The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee is currently reviewing the bill.
The majority of Australians do support same sex marriage. At the present time, the only argument against same sex marriage is religion which claims that marriage is a sacred union between man and woman. The majority of Australians are no longer married in a church, nor blessed by a religious body, but more often in more contemporary venues by celebrants etc.
Educate Together is a recognised patron body and the fastest growing provider of primary school education in Ireland today. It operates schools based on the delivery of equality of access and esteem to children irrespective of their social, cultural or religious backgrounds.
Set up in the 1970s by volunteers and educationalists, it now operates 58 schools throughout the country and has applied to open 45 primary and its first secondary schools in the next few years. It is an independent educational charity that is supported by small government grants and extensive private fundraising. See www.educatetogether.ie for further information.