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Pressure to be pro-gay.

The United Nations is stepping out in support of gay rights. In late August the U.N.'s human rights committee ruled that Australia violated international civil rights law when it denied Edward Young a pension payout after the death of his partner of 38 years, World War II veteran Larry Cains.

"Globally, it is the most significant statement that a U.N. body has ever made about the equality rights of same-sex couples," Australian National University law professor Wayne Morgan told The Age. To protect its human rights reputation, the Australian government, which has 90 days to respond, is now under pressure to rewrite its tax, social security, and armed services laws to include same-sex partners, he said.

While such rulings are nonbinding, the 101 other nations that have ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights could face similar pressure to provide equal benefits. The United States has signed the covenant but not ratified it, so it is not bound by its requirements.
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Title Annotation:Australia; international civil rights law
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:00WOR
Date:Oct 14, 2003
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