October 7th 2017


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Green energy push has left us blowin' in the wind

EDITORIAL Lessons for Australia in NZ election results

CANBERRA OBSERVED Assurances on religious freedom needed now

ENERGY Peak oil turns out to be another moral panic

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Timor Leste, Australia reach new border treaty

BUSHFIRES Disaster awaits as advice again goes unheeded

GENDER POLITICS Does biological sex matter?

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Intolerance of the 'Yes' campaign for all to see

EUTHANASIA Medical murder: three historical cases

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Gallant Taiwan survives alone in the bitter sea

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Prepare for apologies in a generation's time

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE A reflection on the use and abuse of the thought of the Angelic Doctor

MUSIC Stupendous talent: What to do with all that ego?

CINEMA Trollhunters: Guillermo del Toro's TV fantasy

BOOK REVIEW Debunking the 'harmless' tag

HUMOUR

EUTHANASIA Victoria's death bill: questions that need answers

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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Prepare for apologies in a generation's time


by Kevin Reed

News Weekly, October 7, 2017

In 1989 the United Nations developed a Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which Australia signed. The rights in this convention include the rights of children to be raised by their parents and to have a relationship with both parents even if they are separated.

Beginning in South Australia in 1975, and subsequently in all states and territories, homosexuality was decriminalised.

Conscious of the rights of mothers and children, in the first decade of the 21st century, the ALP government apologised to parents and families who were part of the “Stolen Generation”. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, in doing so, said: “We apologise … for the removal of … children from their families … For the future we take heart … A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.”

Five years later, Prime Minister Julia Gillard apologised to the mothers and children who were involved in the forced removal and adoption of children of unmarried mothers. She said in her apology: “This story had its beginnings in a wrongful belief that women could be separated from their babies and it would all be for the best. Instead, these churches and charities, families, medical staff and bureaucrats struck at the most primal and sacred bond there is: the bond between a mother and her baby. To each of you who were adopted or removed, we say sorry.”

As a result of changes to state laws relating to adoption, IVF procedures and surrogacy, same-sex couples can and do acquire children in a number of ways. And, of course, children from a previous relationship can be brought into a same-sex partnership. Each of these ways by which same-sex couples can bring a child into their relationship results in the child not being raised by either its mother or father, which, seemingly, is contrary to the UNCRC.

Furthermore, in the case of a homosexual male couple acquiring a child, the child must be taken from its mother: that is, “the most primal and sacred bond there is: the bond between a mother and her baby” has to be breached – the very deed for which PMs Rudd and Gillard apologised and that, according to Rudd, “this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again”.

If the Australian Parliament changes the Marriage Act, it will be giving its blessing to the current situation with regard to the ways that children can be acquired by same-sex couples, thereby making a mockery of the apologies mentioned above.

To keep faith with the people to whom the Parliament apologised, the Parliament must not change the Marriage Act. To do otherwise would be to indicate that the apologies were shams or stunts done for political purposes, and would be insulting to the groups to whom they apologised.




























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