A final report into the NSW same-sex adoption inquiry has been postponed after the NSW Attorney General intervened in an Administrative Decisions Tribunal decision.
The highly anticipated report was due last month but has been held up while a decision is rendered in a landmark same-sex foster case, which went on appeal before the Administrative Decisions Tribunal two weeks ago.
The Wesley Mission last month appealed the decision from the 2008 case -˜OV and another v QZ and another’, in which it was found the religious-based organisation had unfairly discriminated against a same-sex couple who had applied to become foster parents.
The original case found that the organisation was not protected by religious exemptions in the Anti-Discrimination Act in its decisions to deny same-sex couples access to its foster services.
Wesley Mission was subsequently required to pay $10,000 in damages and to review its services to eliminate practices which discriminated against homosexuals.
The organisation has since appealed to the ADT to take the case to the Supreme Court.
Sydney Star Observer understands that Wesley’s action came backed by a statement from NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos, who intervened in the case. He is said to have made a submission pointing out the state’s reliance on religious organisations for community services.
The Star has requested a copy of the submission from both the ADT and the Attorney General’s office and is awaiting a response.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s office denied that any comments made to the ADT favoured either side of the case.
The Attorney’s intervention in the case is not to -˜back’ or -˜support’ one party over the other. The Attorney has intervened to assist the Tribunal by providing a view as to the Government’s understanding of the effect of certain statutory provisions in the Anti-Discrimination Act, he said.
It is expected that a decision will not be made on the Wesley appeal case for several months.