Wednesday, May 27, 2009

N.S.W. Government to abandon the latest proposal for same-sex adoption legislation? Don’t get your hopes up, I’m afraid

Here’s an interesting Sydney Morning Herald article by Mr. Andrew Clennell, that paper’s State political editor, from yesterday:

THE Premier, Nathan Rees, is set to dump plans to legalise gay adoption as part of a deal with MP Fred Nile to secure his vote on key legislation in the upper house, Labor sources say.

Mr Nile met the Premier two weeks ago and lobbied for the dumping of plans to legalise adoption by same-sex couples
- something the gay community has been fighting for for years.

It was reported two years ago that legislation to allow same-sex couples to adopt was not far away after discussions involving the NSW Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos.

Last year the Community Services Minister, Linda Burney, sent the proposal to a parliamentary inquiry, which is due to report soon.

Mr Rees is said by some to have spoken last year about how he would be prepared to take on the likes of the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, on the bill. But now sources say he is backing down. Mr Nile denies he would be part of any "deal" but confirmed discussing the matter with Mr Rees a fortnight ago in the Premier's office at Parliament House.

"I don't know anything officially but we'd be very pleased if it's off the agenda," Mr Nile said.

"I obviously don't support it. We have had a few discussions over the past few months. I have got no guarantee but I am hoping it [dropping the proposal] will occur."

The co-convener of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Emily Gray, said gay adoption legislation had already been introduced in Western Australia and there had been other gay law reforms here, so holding up gay adoption legislation would be a case of "politics over equality".

"NSW guaranteed de facto status to same-sex couples in 1999. Last June the Government introduced laws recognising lesbian mothers. We would say the one thing that remains in the way of equality in NSW for same-sex couples and their families is the … adoption laws," Ms Gray said.

Passing the legislation was mostly about benefiting existing couples, she said.

For example, a woman may have a child through artificial insemination and meet a lesbian partner when the child was very young but, under present arrangements, the other woman would not be able to adopt the baby as a parent.

Mr Nile said he had also asked the Premier to agree to 12 private member's bills, including "Nicole's law" - a proposal by Mr Nile to name all pedophiles on an internet site, similar to the infamous "Megan's law" in the United States.

He denied the passage of government bills was discussed.

"I have never made a deal in my life," Mr Nile said.

A Greens MP, Lee Rhiannon, said she had wanted to introduce her own private member's bill two years ago that would have given the green light to gay adoption, but the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby had believed they would be successful with the Government.

"[Mr] Rees should respect the role of the Legislative Council to debate and vote on bills on their merit, rather than do backroom deals with [Mr] Nile," Ms Rhiannon said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Rees said: "The Premier doesn't comment on private meetings but regarding the issue, he has heard a range of views and there's currently a parliamentary inquiry in the upper house [on the matter]."
(my emphasis)
(Interesting how Ms Gray receives the opportunity to regale us with her pro-gay-adoption spiel, but it seems that Mr. Nile doesn’t get to advance his side of the debate any further than “I obviously don't support it.” And the particularly interesting thing about Ms Gray’s spiel is how she appears to shoot herself in the foot by dwelling on the ‘equality’ implications rather than the implications for child welfare, when it is the latter which, as the Inquiry stressed, are supposed to be the focus of the discussion. And I liked the bit where the article says

Passing the legislation was mostly about benefiting existing couples, she said.
So true—it certainly ain’t about benefiting the children involved.)

As pleasing as the prospect of the abandonment of the proposed same-sex adoption laws is, I think it’s too soon to get our hopes up; the fact that “sources say [the Premier] is backing down” doesn’t seem like much to go on (yet that’s the only real substance of this report), and as the article points out, the official Inquiry hasn’t even presented its findings yet. I can’t imagine Mr. Rees defying an Inquiry report that’s favourable to the proposal (and a favourable report is, of course, probably what we’ll get), and given that I see no reason not to take Mr. Nile at his word when he says that he has “never made a deal in [his] life”, I can’t imagine Mr. Rees getting a benefit from the abandonment of the proposal that would exceed the cost to him of defying a pro-proposal Inquiry decision.

And as the Sodomites’ League gleefully points out, failing to extend same-sex adoption laws would leave glaring anomalies like the arbitrary restriction of same-sex adoption to female couples formed before the child’s birth, and legal adoption by single sodomites but not pairs of the buggers, and pairs of buggers being legally able to function as de facto ‘co-parents’ but not de jure ones (not that they could ever be de jure parents anyway), so even if this particular proposal doesn't go to Parliament, we’re sure to end up with something like it in the more distant future. Sheer voter apathy means that eventually these degenerates will receive their latest ticket to the social acceptance that they crave so desperately.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Bede the Venerable, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, A.D. 2009

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nathan Rees?

One former Labor staffer has turned on him over the Orkopolous issue. I think he may be otherwise occupied.