Thanks to a new scheme enacted by the government, gay parents in Australia have been granted the same rights as heterosexual couples and will be fully eligible for paid parental leave when they have a child.

According to Australia's News Online, this is the first time that the Australian government's "paid parental leave for fathers will be extended to dads whose partner is another dad." The same will apply for mothers with same-sex partners.

While one parent in a same-sex partnership is currently eligible for 18 weeks parental leave under the "Paid Parental Leave" scheme, this new policy will allow both moms or dads to take time off to bond with baby.

A government press release introducing the new "Dad and Partner Pay" scheme explains that a mom or dad not nominated to be the primary carer of a child will be allowed two weeks parental leave to the value of about $630. The paid leave is applicable to surrogacy, adoption and other arrangements with the birth mother.

As TNT Magazine notes, the scheme, which will kick in next January, applies to both heterosexual and same-sex couples.

"The new 'Dad and Partner Pay' will help dads take more time off in those critical early months to bond with their baby and help moms right from the start," said Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Families who introduced the scheme.

While policies like this one show Australia's relatively progressive attitude toward LGBT equality, gay rights in the oceanic country is, in fact, a mixed bag. Same-sex adoption, for instance, is legal in only a handful of Australian states and same-sex marriage is banned across the country.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Heinz Deli Mayo

    In 2008, Heinz pulled an ad for its mayonnaise featuring two men kissing after approximately 200 complaints to the British Advertising Standards Authority that it was "offensive" and "inappropriate." "It is our policy to listen to consumers. We recognise that some consumers raised concerns over the content of the ad and this prompted our decision to withdraw it," Nigel Dickie, director of corporate affairs for Heinz UK, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/24/heinz-pulls-mayo-ad-showi_n_108860.html" target="_hplink">told<em> The Guardian</em></a>.

  • McDonald's (France)

    This clip -- which features a young man eating in McDonald's with his father, who doesn't know his son is gay -- raised more than a few eyebrows when it was released last year. "The point was not to show someone who is troubled, especially a teenager," the brand director of McDonald's France <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/01/gay-mcdonalds-ad-in-franc_n_596361.html" target="_hplink">was quoted as saying</a> at the time of the clip's release. "We know it can be difficult for some people, but we wouldn't have dared show someone who is struggling".

  • Renault Twingo Ad

    The classically sexy Renault adverts, which birthed Thierry Henry's famous "va va voom" as well as a saucy striptease from Dita Von Teese have pioneered a new breed of commercial to advertise their latest car, the Renault Twingo. A girl dressed in white and her father sit in the car, on the way to the church. Happy smiles greet the couple as they enter the building, and walk down the aisle. However this advertisement, like most Renault commercials, aims to challenge the viewer's perception.

  • Doritos (Part 1)

    The first of two scrapped Doritos ads, which <a href="http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/01/25/Gay_Doritos_Ads_Wont_Air_During_Superbowl/" target="_hplink">had been submitted</a> to the company for its "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, shows a man gazing longingly across a fence at his two gay neighbors, who happen to be eating -- surprise! -- Doritos.

  • Doritos (Part 2)

    Similarly, a second gay-themed Doritos commercial <a href="http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/01/25/Gay_Doritos_Ads_Wont_Air_During_Superbowl/" target="_hplink">was submitted</a> as part of the Super Bowl contest but never officially saw the light of day. This time, a man eyes another man's nether regions in a sauna before a bowl of Dortitos is revealed to be placed on his crotch.

  • Toyota

    Things aren't always what they seem in this cheeky 2006 Toyota's commercial, in which a father incorrectly identifies the gender of his daughter's date.

  • Levi's

    This 2007 ad for Levi's Jeans featured alternate endings with male and female love interests appearing in the telephone booth at its conclusion.

  • Virgin Atlantic

    An unlikely male couple finds love -- temporarily -- in this humorous Virgin Atlantic spot.

  • Renault

    Aimed at promoting the Renault Twingo, this steamy European commercial features two comely women, one blonde and one brunette, exchanging flirtatious glances at a cocktail party before trailing off to a bedroom and stripping down to lingerie. Not everyone was smitten with the controversial ad, however, and it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/17/renault-lesbian-car-ad-ba_n_798226.html" target="_hplink">was yanked</a> from Italian airwaves in late 2010.

  • MakeHomosexualsMarry.org

    Starring Justin Long (best known as Drew Barrymore's ex), this humorous clip -- filmed in opposition of California's Prop 8 -- takes a look at the potential flip side of same-sex marriage.

  • Jawbone Bluetooth

    Yanked from airwaves, this steamy Jawbone Bluetooth ad featured members of a real-life rugby team. The lovers, however, were actors.

  • West Fourth For iPhone

    This ad -- for iPhone's gay-dating app West Fourth -- has the benefit of featuring Manhattan locations (Hudson River Park, Christopher Street Pier) instantly recognizable to the New York gay community.

  • Orangina

    Orangina's "gay" cat ad <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/24/orangina-gay-cat-ad-in-fr_n_624370.html" target="_hplink">was yanked</a> from French airwaves in 2010 -- but is the ad actually promoting a same-sex relationship or one based on zoophilia?

  • Stocker Jeans

    Jeans once again get the gay advertising treatment in this clip, set in a prison shower room.

  • Groupama Seguros

    A controversial Spanish ad starring a British soccer player was yanked earlier this year amidst accusations it was both homophobic and racist. <a href="http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/03/01/video-footballers-spanish-ad-showed-black-men-as-animalistic-homosexuals/" target="_hplink">As Pink News is reporting</a>, the commercials for multinational insurance firm Groupama Seguros feature Liverpool goalkeeper José Manuel Reina (known as Pepe Reina), dressed in full football gear, arriving at an African tribal meeting in a jungle with an interpreter. Playing on the fact that the Madrid-born Reina's surname means "queen" in Spanish, the tribe's chief reportedly tells the athlete, "You queen, me king," before crowning him with flowers.

  • Miroslav Underwear

    In a hilarious ad for Australian-based Miroslav, a hotel worker gets cozy with a guest to appreciate the quality of his underwear "up close."