Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Qld: Reintroduction of discriminatory Adoption Bill

The Bligh Government has reintroduced the discriminatory Adoption Bill to State Parliament. The Bill had been introduced before the last election, but not having passed, lapsed because of the election. The previous minister Margaret Keech described the earlier Bill as “world leading”.
The new Bill is in the same terms.

The Bill discriminates against same sex couples. It provides that the Anti-Discrimination Act is not to apply, and also says that adopters can be married or de facto couples who have been together for two years or more- but couples have to be heterosexual. The Bill says that a prospective adoptive parent must have a spouse of 2 years or more who “is not the same gender as the person.”

Child Safety Minister Phil Reeves said that the Bill, “which reflects contemporary community standards”, “comprehensively reforms and modernises Queensland’s 40 year old adoption laws”.

“Another important and contemporary reform introduced by the Bligh government is that eligibility to lodge expressions of interest will no longer be limited to married couples. Instead, eligibility will be opened up to de facto couples who have been in a committed relationship for at least two years,” Mr Reeves said.

Neither Phil Reeves nor Margaret Keech have been silent about the bill discriminating against same sex couples.

There has been no explanation as to why the Bill discriminates.

There has been no explanation as to how "contemporary community standards" are different in Queensland compared to those places where there is no discrimination.

As to the comments about how progressive Queensland is, these States and Territories do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation:

  • ACT (1993)
  • Western Australia (1994)
  • Tasmania (1988)

These States and Territories discriminate against same sex adoptions:

  • New South Wales (2000)
  • Victoria (1984)
  • Queensland (1964)
  • South Australia (1988)
  • Northern Territory (n/k)

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