Media Release
Friday April 17th 2017
Lobby group just.equal is calling on supporters of marriage equality to respond to a federal government survey on aged care by raising the benefits of marriage equality for older LGBTI people.
Federal Minister for Aged Care, Mr Ken Wyatt, is reviewing the national strategies that support the aged care needs of people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds (CALD) as well as LGBTI communities. 
Just.equal spokesperson, Brian Greig, said this is a good opportunity for the LGBTI community to raise issues related to the inability of same-sex couples to marry and the complications this causes in later life. 
“Numerous studies have found that marriage can be important to the social, legal and physical wellbeing of couples, and the de-facto recognition of same-sex couples often proves inadequate for many of the critical administrative functions we need in out later years,” Mr Greig said. 
"The inability of same-sex couples to marry can mean they and the staff caring for them have problems dealing with visiting rights, power of attorney, medical decisions for an incapacitated spouse, hostile and estranged family members, sharing rooms and prejudice from religiously managed facilities." 
Mr Greig said the Minister needed to aware of these issues, especially as he opposes marriage equality. 
“Mr Wyatt has voted against equal marriage, but he has indicated an open mind. As a Liberal moderate Mr Wyatt could be encouraged to support a free vote on marriage equality if he has a better understanding of the difficulties and discrimination its absence creates.” 
The Minister said that public consultation is vital and he is asking aged care consumers and carers from LGBTI backgrounds, aged care providers and peak bodies to participate by filling out an online survey. 
The CALD and LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care strategies were developed in 2012 to set goals and actions to better support aged care services to deliver appropriate and inclusive care to all older people from CALD backgrounds and those who identify as LGBTI. 
The Strategies are set to conclude by 30 June 2017 to be replaced by a broader Aged Care Diversity Framework that will address the systemic barriers to access of aged care services to diverse groups. 
Just.equal is encouraging people to take 15 minutes and fill out the survey or to write a short submissions to the review which could advocate for equal marriage.
You can fill out the survey here:
For more information contact Brian Greig on 0407 776 961.