Conservative Christians and gay fathers are both calling for the father-child relationship to remain on birth certificates, despite the Iemma Government’s plan to recognise same-sex partners of mothers.

The Christian-based Fatherhood Foundation protested the parenting reforms in Parliament on Tuesday, shortly before they passed the upper house, calling them a calculated attempt to discriminate against men.

There are other ways to protect lesbian women from unjust discrimination without trying to destroy the natural order of male and female, foundation spokesman Warwick Marsh said.

It is a well recognised fact that the majority of lesbian women have never experienced a father’s love, and many have been abused by a male father figure or had bad experiences with men. Errant patriarchy is the ultimate evil as the recent case of child sexual abuse in Austria has shown us. I ask your forgiveness if you have suffered in such a way.

The Same-Sex Relationship Bill, if it is passed, will only increase the number of boys and girls who will never experience the joy of a father’s love and so reinforce the concept that all men are indeed evil.

Tuesday’s Dads4kids protest was sponsored by shadow Attorney-General Greg Smith.

Reverend Sandy Grant, the senior minister at St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral in Wollongong, has also told his congregation to urge upper house politicians to vote against the changes.

This new bill would legalise a lie, that the child has -˜two mothers’, and deny the child any right to know his or her father. It effectively says to the community, -˜Fathers are not important’, Grant wrote to his congregation last week.

Yet research increasingly shows that both father and mother role models are needed for the healthy development
of children.

Marsh also claimed to have received legal advice that the new bill could make using the word -˜father’ unlawful.

Minister for Women Verity Firth hit back at the claims, saying the bill extended the same legal rights to lesbian parents that are currently afforded to heterosexual couples in this situation.

The laws will have no effect on fathers in heterosexual families, Firth told SSO.

This Bill is simply about giving equal rights to children and mothers in same-sex parent families -“ a move that we will stand by.

Some gay fathers have also written to state Ministers asking why known fathers need to be removed from birth certificates, when they could instead allow up to four parents.

Gay men are entering into co-parenting arrangements with lesbian couples where it is agreed by all parties that the father will have an active role as a dad, Anthony Brien of Gay Dads NSW said.

We are dads and we want to be involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of raising our children and this law does little to address the rights of our children.

These arrangements were often recognised by registering parenting orders in the Federal Family Court, he said, but these changes could diminish the rights of their children.

Facilities should be made for four parents, Brien said.

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