Qld Attorney-General Cameron Dick
The recently released Queensland Government bill, produced by Attorney-General Cameron Dick, proposed that everyone- gay or straight, single, couples or married- could have access to altruistic surrogacy in Queensland. It followed the all party committee recommendations.
It also followed the recommendations that lesbian co-mothers be recognised on children’s birth certificates.
The only difficulty I saw with the Government Bill was that the ban on commercial surrogacy still criminalises Queenslanders who go to overseas commercial surrogacy clinics. It is one thing to ban Queenslanders in Queensland. It is quite another to stop them going anywhere else in the world- anywhere from Azerbaijan to Zambia to attend a commercial surrogacy clinic.
But then along came the Borg. Lawrence Springborg has put an alternative bill, to start on April Fool’s Day, before Parliament. If passed, it will:
- Remove protections of the Anti-Discrimination Act
- Prevent single people and LGBT couples from accessing surrogacy
- Only cover heterosexual de facto couples, if they have been living together for two years
- Directly criminalise those Queenslanders who are not married or living in heterosexual de facto relationships from accessing surrogacy clinics interstate- continuing the Joh-era regressive laws - the only State to criminalise surrogacy.
- Not allow lesbian co-parents to be recognised on the birth certificates, leaving their children in legal limbo.
Vowing not to be “high jacked by social engineers who wish to use the
opportunity to redefine the mainstream understanding of family”, Springborg said:
“The bill also makes it clear that the only form of surrogacy which will be legal will be non-commercial and for heterosexual couples only. Same-sex, single and commercial surrogacy arrangements will remain illegal…
“The Bligh Government’s position on same sex surrogacy also contradicts Labor’s position when the Government excluded same sex couples from adoption.
“The LNP has said from day one that we believe the changes to altruistic surrogacy laws, an important and contentious piece of legislation, should be voted upon and debated separately and be limited to married and de facto heterosexual couples, whilst
allowing for a separate debate on the issue of parentage recognition for same sex female parents of a child conceived through assisted reproductive technologies.”