A judge puts his hand out asking for more money--and I applaud!
There was an article on the front page of The Australian today about Kirby's plea to PM on spouse pension. Michael Kirby is a High Court judge of long standing who is due to retire soon and he argues that his spouse of 38 years is entitled to a pension on his death, the same as any other judges' spouses. Unfortunately, the federal government disagrees because he's gay. What struck me about this is his courage in making this a front page issue. He's certainly not doing it for the money--neither he nor his spouse need it. He's doing this on behalf of all the gay couples in Australia who are being discriminated against because of the lack of federal legal recognition of their relationships. He's raising this now in the hopes of making it an election issue, a federal election being due later this year. Perhaps he's hoping to goad the Labor Party into making a firm commitment on this issue? I'm not so hopeful--Kevin Rudd is a devout Christian who still thinks he can wean some Christian Right voters away from the Liberals. I can just imagine the tirade of abuse he'll get from people concerned about the loss of "family values", in fact just for fun I wrote one in my head that grew increasingly hysterical, and I expect to read letters in a similar vein in The Australian tomorrow.