As Adelaide’s gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and queer communities get ready for this weekends Pride March and the opening of the annual Feast Festival, a South Australian campaign group is warning same sex couples about the perils of not having their relationship recognised in the state.
The Let’s Get Equal Campaign has distributed a leaflet across Australia warning same sex couples of the possible consequences of the fact that their relationships are not legally recognised while they are visiting South Australia.
Spokesperson Ian Purcell said, “While SA remains the only state not to protect same sex couples under the law, we believe we have a duty of care to inform interstate visitors of their legal situation while they are in SA.
“Gay and lesbian couples need to be aware that on crossing the border into SA they will be leaving their legal rights behind. Problems may arise because same sex partners are not recognised as next of kin. This means for example that if your partner is hospitalised, you can be denied access to them, or to any information about their medical condition.
“You can be denied the right to make vital decisions about your incapacitated partner’s medical treatment, and if they die, you can be denied the right to make any decisions about their body.”
“Nobody thinks that these things are going to happen to them while they are on holidays, but that is exactly why gay and lesbian visitors need to know the situation in SA, and to be prepared,” Mr Purcell said.
He urged visitors to bring documents which confirm their relationships.
The LGE Campaign leaflet has been distributed as an insert to the SA Government’s Gay Lesbian Visitors’ Guide, a glossy 6-page A4 publication which claims that Adelaide has always been a ‘progressive and hip city’.
“The Guide congratulates Don Dunstan for passing the first gay rights legislation in 1975, but fails to mention that SA is now the only state or territory which has not given equal rights to same sex couples. I don’t call that progressive or hip. People deserve to know the truth about SA,” Mr Purcell said.
Members of the Lets Get Equal Campaign will be marching at the Annual Gay Lesbian Pride March on Saturday 11th November 2006.