LGBTI lobby group just.equal is calling on marriage equality supporters to respond to a federal government survey on aged care by raising the benefits of marriage equality for older LGBTI people.
Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt has announced a review of national strategies to support the aged care needs of LGBTI people.
The strategies conclude on June 30 and will be replaced by a broader Aged Care Diversity Framework that will address the systemic barriers diverse groups face to accessing aged care services.
Just.equal spokesperson Brian Greig said the review is an 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,” Mr Grieg said.
“The de-facto recognition of same-sex couples often proves inadequate for many of the critical administrative functions we need in out later years.
“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 has opposed marriage equality, but indicated he has 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,” he said.
Aged care consumers and carers from LGBTI backgrounds, aged care providers and peak bodies can take part in the review by filling out an online survey or writing a lengthier submission.
To fill out the survey, visit the website here. The surveys will close at 5pm on April 28 and take around 15 minutes to complete. Submission forms are open until 5pm on May 12.