The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL) recently contributed to a comparative Australia/US study conducted by researchers Dr Nancy Naples and Dr Mary Bernstein from the University of Connecticut.

The study is titled, Family Policy, Social Movements, and the Law and aims to investigate efforts made to further legal recognition of same-sex relationships and access to other rights for lesbians, gay men and same-sex couples.

Over the past 20 years activists have sought to expand the legal avenues available for recognising diverse family forms through civil unions, domestic partnership laws, same-sex marriage, assisted reproduction policies, and changes in adoption laws.

These demands have been met with a variety of conflicting policy responses.

The purpose of Naples and Bernstein’s research is to explain what contributes to these contrasting approaches and what social movement strategies are effective in different political and cultural contexts. The principal objectives of this research are to understand the political context and strategies that contribute to changes in family policy in different national and regional contexts. The benefits include shedding more light on these processes helping policy-makers situate family policy-making within a larger policy framework.

Understanding the relationship between varieties of social policies provides options for legally recognising alternative family forms and expanding parental rights to diverse households.

It is hoped this research will benefit policy-makers in the US and Australia by illustrating the diverse ways in which public policy can meet the emotional, economic, and care-taking needs of people.

REMINDER: Contact your local MP and urge them to support Clover Moore’s Adoption Amendment (Same-Sex Couples) Bill.

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