Monday, August 30, 2010

In Australia, Gay Adoption Foes Win

In a very disappointing move prompted by religious adoption providers, MP Clover Moore, an Independent from Sydney has decided to amend her bill that would give gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt in New South Wales. Her amendment allows religious organizations who provide state adoption services to refuse same-sex couples children, simply because they are gay.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports....

She told the Herald she was amending the bill "in line with requests" from church adoption agencies to help ensure its passage through Parliament.
"Some members of Parliament have told me that they will not support reform without an exemption for church-based adoption agencies," she said.
"While the amendments do not reflect my strong belief that there should be no exemptions in the Anti-Discrimination Act, the bill is so important to the security of families headed by same-sex couples that I cannot risk possible defeat."

Though it is true that this legislation is very important and that there can be no possibility of defeat, caving to religious based discrimination flies in the face of what this bill is supposed to accomplish. This bill was supposed to affirm in the minds of the Australian people that gay and lesbians were equal in their parenting abilities to that of heterosexuals. By allowing the exemptions, no matter if you had the votes or not, reaffirms that sections of society can blatantly say the gays and lesbian led families are somehow inferior to "traditional" ones; and it reaffirms that they can do so legally.

Some questions also need to be addressed to adoption agencies like Anglicare; questions such as - is it better for a child to be in a foster home or an orphanage than with a LGBT led household? Is it ok for a child to not have any role models or people that love her, just so that you can enforce your beliefs? Is this truly about the children and the need for them to be raised in a "husband and wife household", or instead is it about your religious dogma and lack of thought for the children that you are supposed to be helping?

Now I know that the religious adoption agencies do wonderful work, I am not trying to slam them on the services that they do provide. But hard questions need to be asked of them, and answers must be demanded.

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