An overhaul of relationship laws earmarked by the Tasmanian government could see a legal registry for same-sex couples established and pave the way for full adoption rights for same-sex couples in the state. However, a government announcement on 3 November that the relationship overhaul would extend to the granting of full adoption rights has sparked vigorous debate in Tasmania between religious leaders and civil libertarians. Anglican bishop John Harrower and Catholic archbishop Adrian Doyle raised the ire of gay and lesbian activists in Tasmania after they publicly proclaimed that heterosexual parents provide children with more balanced development than children of same-sex couples. The statements were challenged by the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group (TGLRG) who want Church leaders to produce credible evidence of their claims. It should be in the hands of adoption experts to decide what’s in the best interests of the child and not left up to a clumsy law which excludes an entire class of people simply because of their sexual orientation, TGLRG spokesperson Rodney Croome said.

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