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Greens commend passage of historic same-sex laws

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the passage of a bill to remove discrimination against same-sex couples is a long overdue win for social justice.

The Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws - General Law Reform) Bill 2008, also known as the Same-Sex Omnibus Bill, was passed by the Senate today.

"This is an historic step forward in recognising the rights of same-sex couples," said Senator Hanson-Young.

"While the Greens have long advocated in the parliament for these changes to the law, we must not forget the tireless efforts of the activists who have campaigned for decades for the rights of same-sex attracted people."

Senator Hanson-Young said that changes still needed to be made to the Marriage Act to make it gender-neutral.

"The Marriage Act is a glaring omission from the laws that have been amended, with its specific exclusion of same-sex marriage," she said.

"Same-sex marriage is an issue on which Australia needs to catch up to other forward-thinking nations.

"The Greens are listening to the community, and will continue to push for same-sex marriage to be legalised in Australia."

Senator Hanson-Young also said the Greens would like to see a specific Act created to protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexuality.

"Sexuality discrimination legislation, along the lines of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, is something that should be considered in the future as part of the Government's commitment to eliminating discrimination against same-sex couples."

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