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TGLRG – Tasmanian Government Move on Same-Sex Parenting

image TASMANIAN GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS GROUP

LGBT Media Release Wednesday June 17th 2009

TAS GOV MOVE ON SAME-SEX PARENTING APPLAUDED FAMILIES URGED TO CONTACT UPPER HOUSE MEMBERS

Tasmanian advocates have welcomed the State Government’s move to give equal legal recognition to the same-sex partners of women who have children through reproductive technology.

Legislation has been introduced which will automatically grant parent status to the same-sex partner of a woman who has a child through IVF or other reproductive technology, a right long available to heterosexual partners.

The Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group and the Womens Legal Service (Tas) applauded the move.

Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said all children deserve the same legal protections regardless of the gender of their parents.

"This legislation will give children born to same-sex partners through reproductive technology like IVF the financial and emotional security of having two legal parents rather than one".

According to Womens Legal Service managing solicitor, Susan Fahey, the lack of recognition for co-mothers can create problems in areas like emergency medical decision-making.

"We are in contact with same-sex partners for whom lack of legal security has meant severe disadvantage and trauma in daily life", Ms Fahey said.

The recognition of same-sex co-parents was attempted by the State Labor Government in 2003 with the support of a majority of the Liberal Opposition, but was blocked in the State Upper House.

Since then, most other Australian states have enacted the reform.

Mr Croome urged families headed by Tasmanian same-sex partners to contact their local state Upper House member and explain how reform will benefit them.

Same-sex couples have had access to reproductive services in Tasmania for many years.

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668 or Susan Fahey on 0418 434 226

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Categories: rodney, Rodney Croome

MCV – "Rainbow Families "Fictional"

September 10, 2008 Leave a comment

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) described families headed by same-sex couples as “biological fiction,” last week.

In a media statement, the ACL said that while they support the basic intent of the Government’s same-sex law reform bill, they’re adamant its aims be achieved without redefining parenthood and children.

“Biology says it takes a man and a woman to produce a child. We should not be writing biological fiction into Commonwealth legislation,” said ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton.

In response, Rodney Croome of the Australian Coalition for Equality said: “It’s time for the law to recognise that it’s love that makes a family, not gender or sexual orientation.”

[Link: Original Article]

Categories: Rodney Croome

The Age – "Push to open Family Court to gay couples" by AAP

May 21, 2008 1 comment

Gay couples who are separating should be allowed access to the Family Court to settle property disputes, the court’s former chief justice has urged.

In a letter to federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland, former Family Court chief justice Alastair Nicholson said Family Court protection should be extended beyond married couples, Fairfax newspapers reported on Thursday.

Under current laws, homosexual couples and heterosexual de facto couples must rely on state supreme courts to settle property matters.

But married couples have access to the specialist Family Court and its team of mediators, which were available for tens of thousands of US dollars less.

In the letter, obtained by Fairfax, Prof Nicholson said the change would ensure more cases are settled at mediation without a trial.

“To force same-sex couples to continue to rely on state Supreme Courts, which are often more expensive and whose personnel have less experience in family law matters, would be a continuing breach of the human rights of lesbians and gay men and their families,” he wrote.

Australian Coalition for Equality spokesman Rodney Croome backed the proposal.

But Australian Christian Lobby chief Jim Wallace said while giving Family Court access to gay couples without children undermined the traditional family model, those with children had a case for Family Court access to ensure the best interests of their children were protected.

[Link: Original Article]

Hobart Mercury – "Gay blast for Hodgman"

January 11, 2003 Leave a comment

LIBERAL justice spokesman Michael Hodgman should apologise to gayparents , Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said.

Mr Hodgman yesterday urged the release of legislation which would allow same-sex couples to legally adopt children.

“The Bacon Labor Government has gagged its own members from speaking freely on this unmandated aspect of its radical social engineering reform agenda,” Mr Hodgman said.

“Making the draft legislation public well in advance would allow the community to have its say and aid in the identification and correction in the legislation that might not be in the interests of Tasmanian children.”

Mr Croome said the Denison MHA’s comments denigrated Tasmanian gay and lesbian parents.

“There is nothing new or radical about lesbian and gay people raising children,” Mr Croome said.

He said adoption would provide foster children and step-children with greater emotional, financial and legal security.

“Mr Hodgman owes an apology to all those lesbian and gay parents helping to raise the next generation of Tasmania,” Mr Croome said.

The law is expected to most commonly apply to gay couples raising children from previous heterosexual partnerships, giving them the same legal rights available to married parents.

“There are many cases of single parents doing an excellent job but when it comes to adoption, the basic principle of having a mother and father is what the community tells us they want,” Mr Hodgman said.

Hobart Mercury – "I want to be a great dad Croome plans baby with lesbian friend" by Martine Haley

TASMANIAN gay activist Rodney Croome hopes to be a great dad to a baby he plans for next year.

Mr Croome plans to father the baby with a lesbian friend within the next 18 months.

And the man who spearheaded the Tasmanian gay law reform struggle in the 1990s said yesterday they intended raising the child jointly.

He said the mother-to-be, who wants to remain anonymous, asked him more than 12 months ago if he would consider fathering a child with her.

“She made it clear she wasn’t talking about a simple, anonymous sperm donor, but a full-on, full-time dad,” Mr Croome said.

“I panicked a bit. My first thoughts were I haven’t got enough money, I haven’t got enough time, it would be too stressful and I like my sleep.

“And then I thought everyone at some stage is in that situation and if I was to wait for the right time, that time might not come.”

Although they have been friends for several years, the pair decided it was important they get to know each other even better before having a child.

“If we have a child together, we’re going to be in a kind of relationship really, even though not romantic, for up to 20 years,” Mr Croome said.

“So we felt it was important to get to know each other better, to

become a bit more a part of each other’s lives and to see if, after having done that, we still thought it a good idea.

“We still do.” He said it was likely the pair would “start the process of conception” soon.

“We won’t be doing this the conventional way,” he said.

“But we are not using IVF. There will be no doctors, no clinics.

“There is more than one way to skin a rabbit.”

Mr Croome, who lives with his gay partner in Hobart, was yesterday bemused by interest in his fatherhood plans.

“I guess I can understand the interest, especially in light of the current debate about fertility,” he said.

He and the baby’s mother — who also has a partner — were considering living together during the early stages of the baby’s life.

“We are still talking about that. It’s a possibility,” he said.

“The optimum situation is we share the parenting equally but, of course, when it is a baby, that’s not really possible unless we live together.

“We haven’t finalised that yet because it involves a lot of issues like our partners, the dogs and cats.”

He said he would use his parents as role models for raising his child.

“My parents have given me much more than I can ever give them in return,” he said.

“That is always the thing with parents and I feel the only way I can ever repay that debt is to give the same to someone else, my own child.”

“If I can repay that debt, just a portion of that debt that I owe my parents, with a child myself, then I will be happy.”

Before making the decision to have a child, he had extensive talks with a wide range of gay and lesbian couples and their children, he said.

He was pleasantly surprised that none of the children had experienced discrimination or felt they had ever been harassed because their parents were gay.

“If there is still discrimination against children of gays and lesbians, it’s up to society as a whole to deal with that and try to remove that discrimination,” he said.

Having a child meant producing “something that goes beyond me”.

“I’m not doing it as a statement. That would be a ridiculous thing to do,” he said.

“Obviously it brings up issues and I’m happy to address them as an activist. But in the end it is just our business.”