Home > Uncategorized > Brisbane Times – “Nile deal dashes gay adoption plan” by Andrew Clennell

Brisbane Times – “Nile deal dashes gay adoption plan” by Andrew Clennell

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]."

[Link: Original Article]

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