TACTLESS
How tactless of Fag Tag sending out an email making funny jokes about “earthquake, thunderstorm or flash flooding” a day after exactly such a catastrophe hit Haiti.
Is this considered amusing or what were they thinking?
— Soren
NO SURPRISE
Are we to understand that Greg Donnelly and David Clarke were on the committee into gay adoption? ‘(Adoption denial angers’, SSO 1004). No wonder it failed.
— Stuart
RUMOURS
It’s been going on for years, but this year NMG have decided to be transparent about the origin of the usual ‘rumours’ that circulate around Mardi Gras performers.
Let’s see, they couldn’t afford the ‘bodyguards’ for one of the hinted artistes. NSW Police will undoubtedly be too busy inappropriately frisking partygoers to have to worry about the talent, but one may just be possible, and personally I would be ga-ga about that.
Next tease may just be the hint of a miracle appearance by a (sadly departed) king (pop or rock, take your pick!).
However, we may just have to settle for one of our many Aussie ‘idols’, or maybe just one of the Jones’ (in town too). Let’s just hope NMG book ? for the correct date! Happy 2010 to all my fellow readers.
— Peter
TAINTED
The GLBTI community is right to be wary of Leonie Young, beyondblue CEO, and her attempts to launder her organisation’s reputation after being public pilloried during last year’s sex discrimination court case (‘Beyondblue commits to GLBTI community’, SSO 1003).
The community should ask “What is beyondblue actually committing itself to do now, how will it achieve these aims in the next 12 months, and how will success be measured?”
Ms Young and beyondblue cannot claim any credibility for assisting gays with depression until its chair, the Honourable Jeff Kennett, does the honourable thing and resigns over his risible comments, which gained Australia-wide publicity, equating homosexuality with pedophilia. While Kennett remains chair, beyondblue is forever tainted.
Jeff Kennett should also hand back his Order of Australia award, given for the “introduction of initiatives for … social benefit … and mental health awareness strategies”, which merely highlights his own duplicity.
— Andrew
ADOPTION
The decision by the NSW Government to not adopt the recommendations of a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into adoption by same-sex couples ignores the best interests of children. The ACT, Tasmania and Western Australia allow adoption by same-sex couples.
The NSW Upper House inquiry last year concluded that the Adoption Act needs to be changed so that children can benefit from the best possible care that can be made available to them yet this Government will not undertake to follow the recommendations of the inquiry.
The Greens NSW made a submission to the inquiry and the response received from Minister Burney detailing the Government’s reaction is inadequate. Rather than provide for the needs of children first, the NSW Government is being intimidated by pressure groups and saying they represent ‘community attitudes’ by refusing to implement the recommended changes. It is the children who lose out.
Ironically the Minister’s explanation of the Government’s decision notes the success of adoption by same-sex couples in other states, notes that a single gay person is legally able to adopt, and also that same-sex couples can foster children, and that most do so very successfully.
Indeed, in most cases it is foster parents who seek to adopt the children they have been caring for. The Department of Community Services advised the parliamentary committee that same-sex couples are helping meet the need for foster carers and are providing care very effectively.
If children form a bond with these carers and the opportunity arises where adoption by the foster carers is possible, then there should be no impediment to that in the law if the child’s best interests are met, irrespective of the sexuality of the carers.
If the children are being raised in a caring and stable home, then that is what is most important. All applicants for adoption should continue to be subject to the full range of assessment criteria, including the need to be approved as fit and proper people to adopt a child.
Given the small numbers of adoptions undertaken in NSW it is not an onerous task for DoCs to maintain oversight of all adoptions in the state and to ensure that all adoptive parents are acting in a fit and proper way and that children are being well cared for.
There are already many children living in families headed by same-sex couples and research, including that presented to the inquiry and to the Victorian Law Reform Commission, showed that a parent’s sexuality is not a predictor of harm to children.
When safe and loving homes can already be proven to be provided by same-sex couples, as evidenced by DoCS, the Adoption Act should allow this to extend to adoption as being in the best interests of the child.
So the Greens NSW call on the Government to acknowledge the positive inputs into its inquiry, ignore the negatives of the pressure groups, and introduce legislation allowing for adoption by same-sex couples.
— Ray Goodlass, Greens NSW
sexuality and gender identity spokesperson

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