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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3972 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

I commend the bill to the Assembly, I note that it is going to go down. I think that that is a real shame.

Question put:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Assembly voted-

Ayes 6

Noes 9

Mrs Burke

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mr Cornwell

Mr Corbell

Mr Stanhope

Mrs Cross

Ms Dundas

Ms Tucker

Mrs Dunne

Ms Gallagher

Mr Wood

Mr Pratt

Mr Hargreaves

Question so resolved in the negative.


Motion (by Mr Wood ) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Homosexual couples-adoption rights

MRS DUNNE (6.22): Last Sunday, about 1,600 people gathered in the rain outside this place to make clear their opposition to this government's proposal to introduce legislation in the ACT on adoption rights for homosexual couples. At that rally, Mr Stefaniak made clear that the ACT Liberals would oppose this legislation and, if it were passed, would seek to repeal it if the opportunity arose in the future.

This proposition is based on the view that a child who does not have both a father and a mother faces significant disadvantage and this disadvantage is not something that we should deliberately impose on adopted children. Such children face enough difficulties already. We are strongly of the view that adoption is primarily about satisfying the needs of the child, not gratifying the desires of would-be parents.

I do not think that this is an exclusively Christian issue; most of the community would agree. This evening, however, I want to clarify a point about this position. I have been asked whether, if we think a child should have both a father and a mother, it means that we are critical of single parents. Let me say that I have the greatest admiration for anyone who has to bring up a family alone, not only without anyone to share the workload with, but also without the support of a partner who is able to offer encouragement, a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on-and someone to laugh with during the good times.

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