Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Qld Rainbow Labor event on Saturday

On Saturday I will be joining Senator Louise Pratt from WA in addressing the meeting of Qld Rainbow Labor. I will be talking about relationship, parenting, surrogacy and adoption issues.

Apparently members wanted to talk about these issues, and were kind enough to ask me to speak to them about those issues.

While Queensland does not discriminate about who can be parents through surrogacy, there remain legal barriers impacting LGBT people, including:

  • the inability to marry
  • the inability to have public ceremonies for civil partnerships
  • the inability to adopt
  • alone of all the States, the age of consent for anal intercourse remains 18, not 16
  • the impact on trans people in being able to change their birth record
  • the position of teachers in Christian schools
It is often assumed that any hard won fights to ensure equality are written in stone. That assumption is false. There ought to be eternal vigilance to ensure that once equality is achieved, it is not subsequently removed.  The clear example of that was in 2012 when the Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie proposed to ban those who wanted to undertake surrogacy- if the intended parents were a gay couple, a lesbian couple or a single man or woman- and make it a criminal offence punishable by up to 3 years jail; and to remove the recognition of lesbian mums on birth certificates.

Thankfully those proposals were put on the backburner last year, in part due to the lobbying of Queenslanders for Equality, of which I was the convenor.

While it might be thought that Queensland is backward-  when it comes to surrogacy, for example, only Victoria, NSW and Queensland do not discriminate. The other States and the ACT discriminate. The NT does not as it has no laws concerning surrogacy.

The surrogacy discrimination list:

  • ACT: both the intending parents and the surrogate and her partner must be couples. No singles need apply.
  • Tasmania: unless a judge rules otherwise in the best interests of the child, the intended parent(s) and the surrogate (and her partner, if any) must come from the Apple Isle.
  • South Australia: only heterosexual couples need apply. Gay and lesbian couples and singles miss out.
  • Western Australia: only heterosexual and lesbian couples and single women  need apply. Gay couples and single men miss out.

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