catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Who should get a war widow's pension?

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The 7.30 Report last night was turning into a gay rights cause the case of Jiro Takamisawa, whose war veteran partner John George died last year. Mr Takamisawa is being denied the war widow’s pension because he is a bloke (and also because he is honest; the bureaucrats originally thought that ‘Jiro’ was a woman’s name).

Tanya Plibersek rightly pointed out that government policy on gay issues is all over the place. It does seem odd that an accused terrorist has same-sex partner rights while the harmless Mr Takamisawa does not. And now that we have legally serving gay members of the ADF proper provision needs to be made for the care of their dependants.

That said, it is hard to see how Mr Takamisawa has any claim to a war widow’s pension other than consistency with a bad policy. After all, it wasn’t as if he sat stoically at home worried about his man at the front in World War II, like many other war widows did. Rather, Jiro and John met in a Tokyo gay bar nearly 40 years after the war ended. If Mr George had been straight and married a mail-order bride to keep him company during his years of decline, it’s hard to see why she should receive a pension either. Surely the pension should be restricted to people connected to the deceased while he or she was serving, rather than someone they met later?


Written by Admin

November 4, 2005 at 6:44 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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