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UPFRONT | NEWS
TURNBULL SAYS MARRIAGE
EQUALITY PLEBISCITE WILL
HAPPEN THIS YEAR
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said the marriage equality
plebiscite will occur “as soon as possible” after the election, and
he expects it to be held by the end of the year.
“Given the election is on 2 July, we do have ample time between
then and the end of the year,” he said during a campaign stop
in early June. “ So I would expect [the plebiscite] to be held this
This is Turnbull’s strongest commitment to the plebiscite’s time-
frame to date, after he refused in March to back a prediction
from Attorney-General George Brandis that the change to the
Marriage Act would occur by the end of the year.
Holding the plebiscite by the end of the year allows the Prime
Minister to match Labor leader Bill Shorten’s promise to legalise
same-sex marriage within 100 days of being elected.
Turnbull also said the Coalition would not suspend anti-discrim-
ination laws for the duration of the plebiscite campaign and
committed to a “straightforward” question on the ballot paper.
“ We will be asking the Australian people whether they support
the definition of marriage being extended to include couples of
the same sex,” he said.
The Department of Defence has committed
to recognising same-sex relationships in the
Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The new Defence Determination will com-
mence on 1 July and aligns requirements for
recognising non-married relationships with
those that are used across government agen-
Couples in de facto relationships were previ-
ously required to produce four pieces of evi-
dence to prove they were in a relationship, as
AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE CHANGES PROCESS FOR RECOGNISING SAME-SEX COUPLES
Uber has fired an Australian driver who used homophobic and threaten-
ing language towards a lesbian couple in Melbourne.
Lucy Thomas, the CEO of a local anti-bullying program, was riding in a
car with her girlfriend in June when their driver began making anti-gay
comments. According to Thomas, the driver, who has only been identi-
fied as “John”, told her he hated football because the players were “a
bunch of faggots who go around touching each other.”
Thomas confronted the driver, who became hostile once he realised the
two women were a couple.
“ He was very aggressive and the tone changed,” s aid Thomas, who be-
gan recording the interaction on her phone.
In the recording, John can be heard calling the two women “two faggots
who don’t like being called faggots” and demanding they exit the car.
Thomas posted the recording online, prompting a flood of complaints
to the ride sharing service. Within a few hours, Uber confirmed the driver
had been fired.
“ Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination,” a spokesperson
wrote. “As soon as we were made aware of the incident, we removed the
driver from the platform.”
Thomas has welcomed Uber’s response, but also said she reported the
incident to the police because homophobia cannot be tolerated.
UBER FIRES DRIVER AFTER
well as cohabitate for 90 days.
But it has been revealed in an internal memo
circulated among ADF personnel that those
in de facto relationships can now apply for a
relationship status by submitting a single evi-
dentiary document such as a registered rela-
tionship certificate. The cohabitation period
is no longer a requirement.
The Department of Defence will also remove
the word ‘interdependent’ from its policies
after ADF members complained it reduced
the dignity of their relationships. It will be
replaced with the term ‘partner.’
Acting Defence Chief Vice Admiral Ray Griggs
said the changes bring the Department of
Defence in line with most workplaces in Aus-
“ Defence is committed to policies that sup-
port a contemporary and diverse workforce,”
he said. “ The policy change ensures equity in
accessing conditions to those that serve
in the ADF.”
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