How Joe Ludwig voted compared to someone who believes that all couples should attract the same rights, entitlements and benefits under Australian law in both the public and private sector, whether they are de facto or married, heterosexual or homosexual

Division Joe Ludwig Supporters vote Division outcome

12th Nov 2008, 6:18 PM – Senate Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws - Superannuation) Bill 2008 - In Committee - Private sector

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The majority voted against Australian Greens amendment (4), which amended government amendment (6).

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young explained that:

This amendment relates to how the current bill only mandates that same-sex couples are given the same entitlements in public Commonwealth superannuation funds. This is something that has been raised numerous times throughout the committee process. The Greens have been quite upfront about our concern that, despite the fact that almost 90 per cent of Australians have their superannuation tied up in private or commercial superannuation funds, this bill does not mandate that those funds adopt the new definition of a de facto relationship and thereby recognise the rights and entitlements of same-sex couples as equal to those of opposite-sex couples. Amendment (4) asks the private sector funds to, within 60 days of the commencement of schedule 4, provide a report as to whether they will adopt the new definition of de facto relationship, which would involve giving the same entitlements to same-sex couples as to opposite-sex couples.

Motion text

(4) After proposed item 13, insert:

13A At the end of Part 4

Add:

36A Information on discrimination (private superannuation funds)*

(1) A private sector fund must, within 60 days of the commencement of Schedule 4 of the Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws—Superannuation) Act 2008, provide to APRA a report containing the following information:

(a) whether the trust deed by which the entity is constituted recognises members of the opposite sex as a couple (however defined); and

(b) whether the trust deed by which the entity is constituted recognises members of the same sex as a couple (however defined); and

(c) any differences in the way the trust deed recognises as a couple (however defined) members of the opposite sex, as compared with members of the same sex.

(2) APRA must place a copy of any report made under this section on the Internet with public access through APRA’s home page.

(3) If there is any material change to the information published by an entity under this Division, the entity must provide an up-to-date report within 7 days.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

15th Oct 2008, 10:03 AM – Senate Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws - Superannuation) Bill 2008 - Second Reading - Remove discrimination

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which means it failed.

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add

but the Senate:

(a) calls on the Government to introduce amendments to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 to remove discrimination in the administration of private superannuation funds by mandating that where such funds recognises opposite-sex de facto couples they must also recognise same-sex de facto couples;

(b) recommends that the umbrella term ‘couple relationship’ be retained in this bill and also be extended to registered relationships in this bill and in similar legislation to ensure:

(i) equal treatment of same-sex and opposite-sex relationships for the payment of death benefits, and

(ii) that the courts do not treat married, registered or de facto couples differently, in that each would have unique criteria but be provided with equal ‘couple relationship’ entitlements; and

(c) recommends that the terms used to define parents and their children be simplified wherever possible in this and similar legislation to ‘parent’ and ‘child’, and applied consistently to ensure children across Australia are equitably included and the distinction between parents, co-parents and step-parents not be inappropriately or unnecessarily blurred.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a large majority

18th Sep 2007, 6:07 PM – Senate Tax Laws Amendment (2007 Measures No. 4) Bill 2007 and others - In Committee - Remove discrimination

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The majority voted against Democrats amendments (1) and (2), which means they failed.

The amendments related to definitions of the words "de facto relationship" and "beneficiary relationship" to remove discrimination against same-sex couples. Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Murray explained that:

The amendments I refer to arise directly from, and are closely aligned to, the precise and detailed recommendations of the May 2007 Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report Same-sex: same entitlements [2.5MB]. That was a national inquiry into discrimination against people in same-sex relationships—their financial and work related entitlements and benefits. This is the first tax bill that I could put these amendments to.

Amendments text

(1) Schedule 5, page 98 (after line 17), before item 27, insert:

26A Subsection 10(2)

Insert:

de facto relationship means a relationship between two people living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis, where the relationship is not a marital relationship:

(a) in determining whether two people are in a de facto relationship, the circumstances of the relationship must be considered as a whole. Without limiting the generality of this paragraph, those circumstances may include:

(i) the length of their relationship;

(ii) how long and under what circumstances they have lived together;

(iii) whether there is a sexual relationship between them;

(iv) their degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between or by them;

(v) the ownership, use and acquisition of their property, including any property that they own individually;

(vi) their degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;

(vii) whether they mutually care for and support children;

(viii) the performance of household duties;

(ix) the reputation, and public aspects, of the relationship between them;

(x) the existence of a statutory declaration signed by both persons stating that they regard themselves to be in a de facto relationship with the other person;

(b) a de facto relationship may be between two people of the same gender.

Note: A person in a marital relationship is taken to be legally married - see subsection 8A(2) of the Superannuation Act 1976.

(2) Schedule 7, page 112 (after line 26), after item 65, insert:

65A Subsection 995-1

Insert:

beneficiary relationship for the purposes of this Act, a person had a beneficiary relationship with another person at a particular time if the person has a marital or de facto relationship with the person and ordinarily lived with that other person on a permanent and bona fide domestic basis at that time.

65B Subsection 995-1(1)

Insert:

de facto relationship means a relationship between two people living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis, where the relationship is not a marital relationship:

(a) in determining whether two people are in a de facto relationship, the circumstances of the relationship must be considered as a whole. Without limiting the generality of this paragraph, those circumstances may include:

(i) the length of their relationship;

(ii) how long and under what circumstances they have lived together;

(iii) whether there is a sexual relationship between them;

(iv) their degree of financial dependence or interdependence, and any arrangements for financial support, between or by them;

(v) the ownership, use and acquisition of their property, including any property that they own individually;

(vi) their degree of mutual commitment to a shared life;

(vii) whether they mutually care for and support children;

(viii) the performance of household duties;

(ix) the reputation, and public aspects, of the relationship between them;

(x) the existence of a statutory declaration signed by both persons stating that they regard themselves to be in a de facto relationship with the other person;

(b) a de facto relationship may be between two people of the same gender;

(c) to avoid doubt, two people may still be in a de facto relationship if they are living apart from each other on a temporary basis.

65C Subsection 995-1(1)

At the end of the definition of spouse, add “and includes a person who is in a beneficiary relationship”.

Yes Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

How "voted a mixture of for and against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 1 50 50
MP voted against policy 1 0 50
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 75 150

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 75 / 150 = 50%.

And then