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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 103..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

conclusions that are now trotted out to us as evidence that everything will be all right if we just go down this path.

What we are doing here, in many ways, is very symbolic. As Mr Stefaniak has said, last year in the ACT there were precisely two stranger adoptions. We are making a law that will allow a very small proportion of the population, without appearing to be too critical, that does not provide, for the most part, the sort of environment that is appropriate for raising children.

Mr Stanhope: Explain that for us, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: I will explain that. If a couple present themselves to an adoption agency here or anywhere else in this country or anywhere else in the Western world, they are screened for all sorts of things. They are screened for psychological stability, their propensity for disease and illness, how long their relationship has been and how stable it is-a whole range of things that go to their capacity to nurture a child who may be given into their care. This is not about having children as trophies.

Mr Stanhope: What's sexuality or gender got to do with that?

MRS DUNNE: This has nothing to do with having children as trophies, but it is, sadly, a comment on the gay lifestyle. We see lots at the moment on TV about how good the gay lifestyle is, but this is not Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and another fashion accessory-these are the lives of children that we are talking about.

An incident having occurred in the gallery-

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, resume your seat, please. As has been said before, members of the community are welcome to come to this chamber, take their places in the gallery and witness what happens in this place, but to interrupt proceedings is against the standing orders. If it persists, I will be forced to clear the gallery.

MRS DUNNE: In a fairly courageous speech the other day, Dr Steven Dawson also cited another study. Thomas Schmidt, in his book Straight and narrow, surveyed 200 studies of the gay lifestyle. He concluded by saying:

Suppose you were to move into a large house in San Francisco with a group of 10 randomly selected homosexual men in their mid-thirties. The relational and physical health of the group would look like this:

Four of the 10 are currently in relationships, but only one is faithful to his partner, and he will not be within a year. Four have never had a relationship that lasted more than a year, and only one has had a relationship that has lasted for more than three years. Six are having sex regularly with strangers, and the group averages almost two partners per person per month. One is a sadomasochist and one prefers boys to men.

Three of the men are currently alcoholics; five have a history of alcohol abuse and four have a history of drug abuse. Three currently smoke cigarettes, five regularly use at least one illegal drug, and three are multiple drug users.


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