Same-Sex Unions and Judicial Pensions

High Court Judge Michael Kirby thinks that his partner of 38 years is entitled to his judicial pension in the event of his death. But the federal government is extremely reluctant to recognize same-sex unions and, as it stands now, Kirby’s partner would receive nothing. Kirby’s pension is worth more than $200,000 per year and, if he were married, his wife would be entitled to $100,000 per year.

Judge Kirby has many times requested that the federal government reconsider its position on same-sex unions. Now again, he has written a detailed letter to the government urging a change in the law that prevents same-sex couples from inheriting judicial pensions. A noble effort, and an unlikely one given the present administration’s postures.

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