Media Release:  Thursday, 4 September, 2008

The Australian Christian Lobby supports the basic intent of the Government’s same-sex law reform bill introduced today but is adamant its aims be achieved without redefining parenthood and children.

ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton applauded the Government for continuing to honour its election commitment to protect legal marriage between a man and a woman. However, he said there was no need to create new classes of children based on biological fiction in order to end discrimination.

“There is no need to redefine children in the Acts being amended under this omnibus bill and where there is a need for clarity, a dependency test could be applied to determine what rights a child and its carers in same-sex relationships might have, Mr Shelton said.

Mr Shelton said he was also concerned about assumptions in the legislation that homosexuals and lesbians would have access to children through surrogacy and ART arrangements when this debate was by no means settled within Australian society and under Australian law.

“We need a wider public debate centered on the best interests of children, not an illconsidered assumption that it is beneficial for a child to grow up in a same sex household.

“ACL believes children should be given every opportunity in life to have both a mother and a father and that the state should not facilitate the deliberate creation of children who are effectively left motherless or fatherless. Whilst some children through life’s circumstances will find themselves without either a mother or a father, that should be seen as the tragic exception not the desirable rule.”

Mr Shelton said it was biological nonsense for the bill to define children as the product of a same-sex relationship.

“Biology says it takes a man and a woman to produce a child. We should not be writing biological fiction in to Commonwealth legislation, particularly when the Government’s aims can be achieved by applying a dependency test. This bizarre social engineering is completely unnecessary to achieve the aims of the bill.

For more information contact Lyle Shelton