I don’t know how you people do things in British-land, but around here…
February 2, 2007
A couple of days ago I commented that sometimes people surprise you. Well, sometimes they do.
Unfortunately, most of the time they don’t.
From the article:
Adoptions of foreign children by same-sex couples will not be recognised in Australia, under legislation foreshadowed by the Federal Government.
The Government has listed the proposed law in its list of bills that it plans to introduce in Parliament’s autumn session, which starts next week. The bill itself has not been made public yet.
Absolutely typical of the current government. In 2004, Team Howard introduced the Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill specifically addressing same sex unions, stating that:
Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
Certain unions are not marriages. A union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) a man and another man; or (b) a woman and another woman; must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia
And why does marriage mean that? Apparently, just because they say so. It can’t have been due to religious connotations because they also objected to civil unions (and I’ve never heared any credible secular reasons for that either).
Queensland Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett had more to say about the new legislation:
“It won’t even prevent an adoption; it will just leave children who have been adopted with reduced legal and social recognition and protection, and a less stable family environment,” Senator Bartlett wrote on his personal website. “As soon as the family walks through Australian customs, the child will cease to have two legal parents and one of the parents will cease to have any legal rights or responsibilities for their child,” he said.
Sadly, this is similar to the current status of same sex couples in Australia (unmarried, of course) with children where one of the parents is the biological mother or father and the child is conceived via IVF or surrogacy. The biological parent is recognised as such by law, the other parent is not.
This manifestly unjust state of affairs compelled former Family Court Judge Alastair Nicholson to speak out against it last year, as reported by ABC News:
Alastair Nicholson says the Marriage Act is not a Christian piece of legislation and therefore traditional religious views about marriage referring to a man and a woman should not apply.
Judge Nicholson also says the laws are not fair to the children of same sex couples.
He has told SBS television if the same sex parents have a loving relationship, it is highly likely the child would be much better off than with heterosexual parents who have a bad relationship.
“I think it’s an act of cruelty both to them and to the children because it seems to me that the people are forgetting all the children in this equation,” he said.
“Incidentally there’s so far as I’m concerned, not a shred of credible evidence that children brought up in a gay relationship have any significant disadvantage in relation to other children.”
But hey, what would someone with his expertise and experience know about it?
Of course no article about same sex families would be complete without a statement from the spokesman of a right wing religious think tank, in this case the Family Council of Victoria:
But Family Council of Victoria secretary Bill Muehlenberg hoped the bill would discourage same-sex couples from adopting foreign children, favouring children having a mother and father.
I just love the way the name makes them sound all official and impartial, though Bill Muehlenberg is also a leader of another similar group, the Australian Family Association and was a major lobbyist for the Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill.
Dress it up however you like, this legislation is cheap wedge politics and just plain wrong.