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Archive for April, 2009

Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog – “Queensland to Legalise Surrogacy” by Stephen Page

April 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Stephen Page from the Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog is always quick with the news and his blog is one I read daily. He has just posted the Ministerial Media Statement about the legalisation of surrogacy in Queensland:

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Altruistic Surrogacy to be decriminalised in Queensland

The Bligh Government will decriminalise altruistic surrogacy in Queensland, giving hundreds of women and couples the opportunity to have children.

Premier Anna Bligh said the decision of the government today would give Queenslanders who were unable to conceive a child fresh hope of starting a family.

"As a mother, I know the incredible joys parenthood can bring," Ms Bligh said.

"Today’s decision means Queenslanders who are not able to conceive a child of their own will now have a legal avenue to do so.

"The decision follows the unanimous recommendation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee last year, to change the current Queensland law which makes all forms of surrogacy illegal.The committee recommended decriminalising the practice of altruistic surrogacy – where a woman agrees to bear a child for another person, for no financial gain or personal benefit.

"Cabinet has provided in principle support for the committee’s recommendations, and we have agreed to take the necessary action to see the practice of altruistic surrogacy decriminalised.

"The reality is, for some people, surrogacy is their only chance of starting a family. It is not fair that their genuine efforts to do so could land them in jail, or see them face fines of up to $10,000.

"Queensland is currently the only state in Australia where altruistic surrogacy is considered a crime, punishable by jail.

"This government’s decision will ensure Queenslanders now have the chance to consider this option, without fear of a prison sentence."

Attorney-General Cameron Dick said that the decriminalisation of altruistic surrogacy has a range of regulatory implications regarding parentage in Queensland.

"The Government will develop a mechanism to allow the transfer of legal parentage from the birth mother to the child’s intending parents in altruistic surrogacy arrangements," Mr Dick said.

"This legal framework to support transfer of legal parentage is an issue that requires close consideration by governments at both the state and federal level."

Mr Dick said the national Standing Committee of Attorneys-General is set to discuss this issue at its next meeting in August this year.

"It is important that we achieve some level of cross-jurisdictional consistency, to ensure no child in Australia is disadvantaged."
He said the committee had also recommended the government conduct a review of the status of children being cared for by same-sex parents.

"This is a complex and sensitive issue that attracts strong and diverse views but the government is committing to undertake a review of the legal status of children being cared for by same-sex parents. "

At the end of the day, we want to ensure that all people who want to be parents have the opportunity to be – and most importantly, that all children are treated equally."

Ms Bligh said commercial surrogacy will remain illegal.

"We do not agree with the practice of people using surrogacy as a means of making money.

"Anyone involved in this practice will continue to face fines of up to $10,000 or a maximum of three years imprisonment.

"The legislative changes to decriminalise altruistic surrogacy will be in place by the end of the year.

[Link: Original Article]

Categories: Uncategorized

ABC Online – “Gay parents urge federal-state reform” by Nicole Butler

April 23, 2009 Leave a comment

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Lobby groups in Qld say Premier Anna Bligh has turned a blind eye to the plight of gay parents. (Reuters: Max Rossi, file photo)

Audio: Same sex couples in Queensland push for equal parental rights. (AM)
The Prime Minister might be pushing ahead with same sex law reform but state Labor governments in Queensland and South Australia are not following the federal lead.

Gay and lesbian couples are not recognised in the two states and they say living under two contradictory legal systems is cruel, particularly when children are involved.

Lobby groups in Queensland say Premier Anna Bligh has turned a blind eye to the plight of gay parents, and they want that influential Queenslander, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, to help them.

Louise DuChesne and Molly Galea are a lesbian couple living in Brisbane and discovering the joys of parenthood to 17-month-old twins Joseph and Lucienne.

Ms Galea is the children’s biological mother, but as the non-biological mother, Ms DuChesne is also fighting for her parental rights because Queensland, like South Australia, does not recognise same sex couples.

"I’m not legally validated or legally acknowledged but I mean the piece of paper is important, being on the birth certificate is important," she said.

"The way we came into this was both of us trying to get pregnant and it was that Molly was the one who got pregnant. I have two children. It is not like I need children of my own. These are my children."

But the twins are not Ms DuChesne’s children in the eyes of the law in Queensland.

At a federal level it is a different story. Mr Rudd is pushing ahead with his same sex law reform so that by July even Centrelink will recognise gay couples.

It is this contradiction between Commonwealth and state that is making things confusing and difficult for same sex partners.

Ms Galea says problems regularly crop up in day to day life.

"There is things like health services may refuse Louise being able to take them to health services, because Louise isn’t actually a guardian, so that is a bit insulting," she said.

"But also if I died, I would want Louise to be bringing up the children, obviously, as their mother. But because she is not seen as the next of kin, there might be some hoops to jump through."

Shelley Argent is the national spokesperson of PFLAG – Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians.

She agrees the inconsistency between federal laws and those in Queensland is cruel and insulting.

"Couples could come from another state who are recognised, they move into Queensland and Queensland does recognise them but they don’t recognise their own couples here in Queensland," she said.

Ms Argent says Premier Bligh is deliberately avoiding the issue of same sex rights in Queensland now that she has won the state election.

"They initially phoned me saying would I like a meeting and now, a month later, they are saying send in an email or a letter and we will consider it," she said.

Ms Bligh’s office did not return the ABC’s calls, nor did Queensland’s Attorney-General.

[Link: Original Article]

[Link: Audio]

Categories: Uncategorized

Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog – “Queensland to Legalise Altruistic Surrogacy” by Stephen Page

April 23, 2009 Leave a comment


Fresh from her re-election, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has announced that Queensland will legalise altruistic surrogacy by the end of this year.

She also indicated that Labor MP’s will not have the choice of a conscience vote: they will have to toe the party line, which is to allow this change through.

The Premier’s approach is consistent with an all party committee, chaired by former Attorney-General Linda Lavarch, which recommended that altruistic surrogacy in Queensland be permitted..

Queensland currently has the most regressive laws in the country. All surrogacy is banned. Any Queenslander entering into a surrogacy arrangement, whether in Queensland or anywhere else int he world, commits an offence in Queensland.

[Link: Original Article]

Categories: Uncategorized

Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog – “Queensland to Legalise Altruistic Surrogacy” by Stephen Page

April 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Fresh from her re-election, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has announced that Queensland will legalise altruistic surrogacy by the end of this year.

She also indicated that Labor MP’s will not have the choice of a conscience vote: they will have to toe the party line, which is to allow this change through.

The Premier’s approach is consistent with an all party committee, chaired by former Attorney-General Linda Lavarch, which recommended that altruistic surrogacy in Queensland be permitted..

Queensland currently has the most regressive laws in the country. All surrogacy is banned. Any Queenslander entering into a surrogacy arrangement, whether in Queensland or anywhere else int he world, commits an offence in Queensland.

[Link: Original Article]

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OUTRAGE – Do Ask. Do Tell. – “A Searing Expose of the Secret Lives of Closeted Gay Politicians”

April 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Magnolia Pictures will soon release a new documentary film called Outrage, which is about closeted gays in US politics. Should be an interesting watch.  I am all for outing Gay or Lesbian political people who work (even slightly) to the detriment of Gay and Lesbian equality and rights. 

[Source: Magnolia Films]

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Iowa and Vermont – Gay Marriage Success

April 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Wonderful news from both Iowa and Vermont this week.  Gay Marriage!  Now if only Australia could get it’s act together.  Unlikely in the near future with homophobes like Rudd and Gillard and Tanner in charge.  Sigh!

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Sensible Swedes – Swedish Parliament Approves Gay Marriage

Great News – Sweden has become the fifth European country to allow gay marriage.

The Age is reporting:

“Parliament on Wednesday adopted a new law that gives same-sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexuals.

The Parliament’s website says the new law will take effect on May 1.

The Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Spain also allow gay marriages.

Sweden has recognised civil unions between homosexual couples since 1994. However, the old law stopped short of calling them marriages, which gay rights activists said was discriminatory.

It will still be up to individual churches to decide if they want to wed gay couples.

Swedish news agency TT says the 349-seat legislature passed the measure in 261-22 vote, with 66 MPs abstaining or absent”.

Australia still sadly lags behind enlightened countries like Sweden. That is because we have right wing christian (talking to imaginary people) leading the political parties in OZ. Yes Kevin Bloody Rudd and Malcolm Dickhead Turnbull.

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