12 November 2015

Catholic adoption agencies will be able to keep their doors open after the Coalition and minor parties defeated a Victorian Labor Government attack on religious freedom tonight.

While the Government’s same-sex adoption law trampling the rights of children to a mother and father figure was passed in Parliament tonight, the anti-religious freedom Clause 17 was voted down.

Australian Christian Lobby Victorian Director Dan Flynn praised the resolve of the Victorian Coalition, DLP, Shooters and Fishers and Vote1 Local Jobs in blocking what was an extraordinary attack on freedom of religion in Victoria.

“CatholicCare adoption has survived a significant Government attack and will be able to continue to prefer to adopt children to a mother and father rather than a same sex couple.”

In attempting to defend Clause 17 of the Adoption Amendment (Adoption By Same Sex Couples) Bill, which would have removed a religious exemption for faith based adoption agencies, Minister Mikakos said: “It is regrettable that CatholicCare has taken this position. It is not ok to discriminate a little bit”

“The Government’s intention was to silence any contrary opinion to its ‘equality is not negotiable’ mantra,” Mr Flynn said.

“Catholic Care was the one faith based agency that stood up to that threat of closing its adoption service.

“I would like to thank the 1500 Victorians who responded to ACL’s call to contact their Upper House members, urging them to defend freedom of faith. If we speak up, we can make a difference.

“Freedom of faith for Christian organisations and the people that work in them is a cherished freedom. The Government was wrong to think that this right could be so easily trampled,” Mr Flynn said.