Saturday, 9 January 2010

NSW government rejects same sex adoption: overturns committee report

"It is axiomatic in government that hornets' nests should be left unstirred, cans of worms should remain unopened, and cats should be left firmly in bags and not set among the pigeons. Ministers should also leave boats unrocked, nettles ungrasped, refrain from taking bulls by the horns, and resolutely turn their backs to the music."

I dropped in this quote from the master of do-nothing, Sir Humphrey Appleby from TV's Yes Minister, as it demonstrates the approach by the NSW government to same sex adoption. NSW Minister Linda Burney  has been quoted as saying that the government decided not to change the law to include same sex adoption as it was "too complex" and "sensitive" and that there would need to be "more discussion". In the process the government has rejected the approach of a parliamentary committee which recommended the changes.

In other words, the NSW Labor government proposes that the changes do not occur- to quote Sir Humphrey again: "in the fullness of time", "at the appropriate juncture".

The decision has meant, inevitably, that there it a hotch potch of laws concerning adoption in Australia. Same sex adoptions can occur in WA and Victoria, and in limited circumstances in Tasmania, but not elsewhere. As a result, there have been inevitable calls for national, uniform laws to allow same sex adoption.

Back in May, Fairfax was reporting that the NSW government was not going to support same sex adoption, in order to keep the support of Fred Nile in the Upper House. Rev. Fred Nile was one of those instrumental in opposing the original marchers for LGBT equal rights in NSW that morphed into the mardi gras.

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