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Lesbian Couples Reject Equality

"It is a little known fact that the benefit laws which apply to heterosexual couples do not apply to same sex couples," says Lindsay Mitchell, Petitioner for a Parliamentary Review of the DPB.

"The government is considering changes that will mean heterosexual couples and lesbian couples will, in the future, be treated equally under the law. Wouldn't you think this would be welcomed by the lesbian community?" asks Mrs Mitchell.

"Apparently not. Jenny Rankine, Lesbian rights activist, says, 'Thousands of lesbians will lose their only income and become financially dependent on their partners. Thousands of couples who are both receiving benefits will have their income reduced to the 'married' rate.' "

Lindsay Mitchell continues, "A heterosexual woman who claims a benefit whilst her partner works would be committing benefit fraud. Isn't there a glaring double standard here?"

"In a country chronically cash-strapped in vital areas such as health, 'thousands ' of lesbian couples must be co-habiting quite comfortably compliments of the taxpayer."

"Ms Rankine defends lesbian's unique needs saying, 'Our families are also enormously varied. They include having children from known and anonymous insemination donors; co-parenting with lovers, friends, ex- lovers and gay men.' "

"It is not the role of the state to fund their choices," says Mitchell.

"Frankly, I am appalled, not only at this inequality and presumption of privilege but the scale of the benefit receipt Ms Rankine describes. I urge Mr Maharey to get on with it and change the existing legislation to close down this almighty rip off."

Lindsay Mitchell

Petitioner for Parliamentary Review of the DPB

ph/fax 04 562-7944

e-mail dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz




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