UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE SAYS FAILURE OF AUSTRALIA TO ALLOW SAME-SEX DIVORCE BREACHES RIGHT TO EQUALITY

In a critical blow to Australia’s ban on same-sex marriages, the UN Human Rights Committee has found the Government’s failure to allow same-sex divorces violates the country’s human rights obligations.

In a decision released over night the UNHRC found that an Australian woman has been denied the right to equal protection of the law because Australian law does not allow her to end her legal Canadian same-sex marriage.

The decision comes two days before the Liberal party room is due to debate Government policy on marriage equality.

The woman who took the case to the UNHRC is Dr Fiona Kumari Campbell. She said,

“The UNHRC has recognised the unacceptability of differential treatment between different categories of foreign marriages.

“This is another nail in the coffin of Australia’s prohibition on marriage equality.”

Fiona is currently in Scotland. She can be contacted on +44 7491 286 199 or via fionakumaricampbell@gmail.com

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“This decision is a timely reminder to the Australian Government that banning same-sex couples from marriage is a breach of human rights.”

“This decision highlights the fact that the failure of the Government to treat LGBTI people as full and equal citizens is an international embarrassment.”

“By highlighting the serious human rights implications of marriage equality, this decision shows why a public vote is not the right way to deal with the issue.”

The full decision can be found here
http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/AUS/CCPR_C_119_D_2216_2012_26103_E.pdf

The key line is on page 16
“In the absence of more convincing explanations from the State party, the Committee considers that the differentiation of treatment based on her sexual orientation to which the author is subjected regarding access to divorce proceedings is not based on reasonable and objective criteria and therefore constitutes discrimination under article 26 of the Covenant (see below for Article 26*).”

Dr Campbell had the pro bono assistance of Gilbert and Tobin law firm.
Rodney Croome, just.equal