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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 102..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

legislation will be. We will not know for generations, or at least another generation, what the impact of that legislation will be.

From time to time, Mr Speaker, you hear people talking at great length about how important it is that we make this change so that all adults can be treated equally. I am concerned about all children being given the best possible start in life. The best possible start in life is undeniably that they should reside preferably with the mother and father who bore them, but at least they should be in a household where they receive the love of a mother and a father, the nurturing of a mother and a father and the attention of a mother and a father. That is not to say that mothers and fathers, as couples, always make paragons of parents. We do not. We are all fallible to some extent or another, but it is the best that we have and it is the system that we should maintain.

As Ms Dundas said, we have heard a lot about people having done it before, so let's get on the bandwagon. Some members may not be aware that as recently as January this year the State of Florida upheld a ban on same-sex adoption. So it isn't everybody, and some fairly progressive jurisdictions have shied away from it. In our own country, South Australia has moved away from it and says that it will not happen. I think the message from Peter Beattie on Sunday about no sex, drugs and rock and roll in his Queensland shows that they will not go down this path.

Ms Dundas said that lots of research had shown that it has no effect at all. I would like to reinforce the statements made by Steve Dawson on Sunday in relation to just this issue. He said:

Same-sex parenting is a relatively new phenomenon and there are few well designed studies that exist. There are a plethora of sub-standard studies which arguably, because of their volume and the acceptance by reviewers sympathetic to the gay lobby, have achieved the collective status of truth, that same sex parenting is beneficial to children. The quality of such studies has been strongly challenged by a number of researchers, including some more rigorous scholars sympathetic to the gay lobby.

He cites Patricia Morgan, the British sociologist, in a report called Children as trophies, and says:

The bulk of her book is a review of 144 academic papers on gay parenting. She demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of these studies have been quite worthless. They are so poorly done that the results prove nothing. The methodological shortcomings include a failure to design the study properly, a failure to properly measure for relevant variables, failure to control for extraneous variables and failure to use proper statistical tests.

She summarises:

While anecdotes may illustrate conclusions drawn from well-conducted research, they in themselves prove nothing. Using self-congratulatory testimonials is hardly objective science.

Those who cared to listen to Steve Dawson the other day would have heard him give a number of examples about how lots of journals which one would consider to be of a high quality and whose papers are, in fact, refereed have come up with very erroneous

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