For those of you that don’t have children or for whatever reason have yet to truly experience Dora the Explorer, here’s a taste of what I’m talking about.
As for why this song leapt into my conciousness, well despite it taking 10 years, today the bill allowing same-sex couples to adopt in New South Wales has been passed in state parliament’s Lower House by the slimmest of margins, 46 votes to 44. According to ABC News, Sydney Independent MP, Clover Moore, had this to say,
“It was a recommendation of the New South Wales Law Commission and all of the recommendations were accepted a decade ago, except in relation to same sex couples,”
“I moved those amendments at the time and everyone in the parliament voted against it. Today the majority voted for it – so it’s taken ten years to get this reform.”
But we’re not there yet.
Some of the amendments now in place allow for religious groups to freely and openly discriminate against same-sex families, with one amendment still awaiting further voting. The Hon Penny Sharpe MLC warns on her facebook page:
“There is at least one amendment that is yet to be debated. The numbers could change depending on what happens with amendment/s. There will then be another vote. If passed then it will come to the Upper House where the numbers are also very tight.”
It’s not too late to let NSW Upper House members hear your voice on this issue by contacting them via phone or email. Their details can be found here.
With two out of three government-accredited adoption agencies in NSW, Anglicare and CatholicCare stating they would sooner shut down their adoption services altogether than be forced not to discriminate against same-sex families, plus the very active campaigning mentioned in previous posts, there is pressure not to pass the bill.
So this victory for equality is still sadly tarnished by the bigotry of the few, but it’s still a step closer to one rule for all. We’re almost there and it appears we’ll have yet another photo finish, an all too common sight in Australian politics of late.
Jayson D Cooke