Thursday, 5 June 2008

Rights win for lesbian families

The rights of New South Wales children with lesbian parents have been expanded under legislation passed by the State Government.

The law clears the way for children from lesbian couples to inherit money from their non-birth parent and receive workers' compensation on behalf of their non-birth parent.

It also allows both mothers to appear on their child's birth certificate.

NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos says the Bill is a big step.

"It means that the non-birth parent will have obligations to that child in the same way that every other parent has," he said.

"It also means that child will have the same relationship with the non-birth parent as they do with their birth parent."

Mr Hatzistergos says shadow attorney-general Greg Smith defied his own party in voting against the Bill.

"The Opposition is hopelessly divided on this issue but it's important to recognise that the vote was carried 64 to 11," he said.

"With Mr Smith being one of the few leading spokespersons within the Opposition voting against the legislation, he not only defied his leader but also the leader of the National party."

Emily Gray, from the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, says many Liberal MPs, who voted against the reforms, were confused about the meaning of reforms.

"A lot of that was stemming from the fact that they believed that fathers would be removed from birth certificates following these reforms and that's just simply not true at all," she said.

Ms Gray says the changes have been long-awaited.

"With 71 per cent of the Australian population now supporting equal rights for same-sex couples, it's about time that this equality came through," she said. "We're really happy that it has."

No comments: