An informal survey put the number of gay divorces at about 6 per cent. Picture: Getty ImagesDear Friends and Family in Christ,

Truly, this is a very sad day in our nation’s history as Lesbians will get IVF under proposed Victorian law changes!

Is Australia becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah? Who is to be blamed? You make the decision…..

‘LORD, please have mercy and help our nation of Australia!’

Following are two media articles: 

Lesbian women to get access to IVF
December 14, 2007 – 6:17PM, The Sydney Morning Herald

Lesbians will be able to access fertility treatment in Victoria in a major breakthrough for gay parenting rights.

The Victorian government will legislate next year to allow single and gay women to use in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) to conceive.

In a major overhaul of parenting laws, surrogacy rules will also be relaxed, giving gay partners – as well as parents of surrogate children – greater parenting rights.

But the government has stopped short of legalising gay adoption as it rewrites the 20-year-old laws.

Attorney-General Rob Hulls announced the reforms, which follow the recommendations of a Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) report released in June.

Mr Hulls said the laws would stamp out discrimination and anomalies in the law while also protecting the rights of children.

The legislation would better reflect advancements in reproductive technology, bring Victoria in line with other states and stop women being forced to travel interstate for fertility treatment.

“The law reform commission made it clear that there was a very strong case for change, for reform; that existing laws are inconsistent and becoming increasingly unworkable,” Mr Hulls said.

“The government fully accepts that the paramount consideration for laws in this area should be the best interests of children born as a result of assisted reproductive technology.

“The fact that a child is wanted, is loved and is cared for, in the government’s view is far more important than the way in which that child was conceived.”

Gay couples have welcomed the legislation but Christian and family groups say it will erode traditional family values.

The legislation will:

* Allow single and lesbian women to access IVF;

* Legalise non-commercial surrogacy. (Current laws stipulate that a surrogate mother must be infertile to access reproductive treatment, not the woman who is seeking a child);

* Recognise the non-biological mother and father of a surrogate child as the legal parents;

* Recognise the female partner of a woman as the joint parent of a child;

* Allow women to use the sperm of their dead partners, providing there is prior written consent;

* Enforce screening for IVF candidates and ban sex offenders and people convicted of a violent offences from treatment.

Mr Hulls said the reforms would provide reproductive equality and reduce the incidence of self insemination, which would remain technically illegal under the new laws.

He said the government would seek a national consensus on gay adoption.

Rainbow Families Council spokeswoman Felicity Marlowe said the reforms were a win for gay couples.

“This is just catching up with the reality of children’s lives, but also with what’s happening in Western Australia, the ACT and in some respects Tasmania.

“So it’s nothing controversial, it’s just moving with the times.”

But Australian Christian Lobby spokesman Rob Ward said children should be raised in an “ideal” family environment with a mum and a dad.

The Australian Family Association agreed, saying research showed children to married parents had the best outcomes.

“That’s where they do best, that’s where you stack the odds best in kids’ favour,” national spokeswoman Angela Conway said.

“It’s really poor public policy to legislate for second best solutions and I think that’s really what it comes down to.”

© 2007 AAP

Brought to you by  AAP.
 

I do, more or less

Paul Maley | December 13, 2007, The Australian

KEVIN Rudd didn’t need this. Barely three weeks into his prime ministership the Labor leader has been dropped, feet first and courtesy of his own party, into one of the most contentious social policy debates since Roe v Wade, the landmark US Supreme Court ruling that legalised abortion.

An informal survey put the number of gay divorces at about 6 per cent. The issue is the ACT Government’s Civil Partnerships Bill, a piece of legislation that would give legal recognition to same-sex relationships. The civil partnerships bill is a hardy piece of legislation that survived two attempts by the former Howard government to extinguish it. The first was in May 2006, when then attorney-general Philip Ruddock instructed the Governor-General to quash the bill, which had been passed by ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and his Government one month earlier. The second was in February when Ruddock again threatened to scuttle the legislation.

On both occasions, Ruddock’s weapon of choice was a clause in the Territories Act that empowers the commonwealth to extinguish territory legislation by fiat.

Ruddock’s proximate justification was that the Civil Unions Bill, as it was then known, usurped the commonwealth’s powers under the Marriage Act.

The federal government’s response was heavy-handed. Ruddock’s actions triggered debate about the rights of states and territories to govern, and be judged for that governance, as they see fit.

Liberal senator for the ACT Gary Humphries crossed the floor and voted with the Opposition on the issue, the first and only time a Liberal senator took such a step in the 11 1/2-year history of the Howard government. The ACT Government all but gave up on passing the changes while John Howard was in power.

Barely a week after Rudd took office, ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell pulled the legislation from his top drawer and prepared to submit it to the Legislative Assembly.

However, it quickly became clear federal Labor was beholden to two apparently contradictory promises on the subject. First, in the lead-up to the election, Labor had assured Australia’s peak Christian group, the Australian Christian Lobby, it was opposed to civil unions and would block the ACT’s bill. That was the understanding of ACL managing director Jim Wallace.

Second, it had assured the ACT Government a Rudd Labor government would respect the right of the states and territories to legislate as they saw fit, even if they opposed the content of the legislation. That was Corbell’s understanding.

Wallace says he expects Rudd to override the legislation in precisely the same way Howard did.

He says assurances the ACL extracted from Labor on civil unions were sought specifically in the context of Stanhope’s boast that he would reintroduce the legislation once Labor was back in power federally.

For Rudd, the episode is the demarcation point between Opposition, where ambiguity is often a viable middle course, and government, where he must choose between variegated shades of grey.

Late last week Rudd indicated he would support the ACT’s right to legislate autonomously. “It’s Labor policy not to interfere with state or territory legislation,” Rudd said. “On these matters, states and territories are answerable to their own jurisdictions.

“The question of the legislation of the type of which you speak, it’s always been our view, as the Labor Party, that that lies properly within the province of the states and that remains our position. The ACT Government has indicated it wishes to head in a particular direction and the ACT Government is therefore in a position to be accountable to its citizenry for that.”

The Christian lobby is furious, with Wallace describing the situation as a “complete break of faith” with Labor’s Christian constituency. It is, he says, Rudd’s first broken promise.

“We received commitments from Labor. They were publicised to the Christian constituency … I’m sure it’s been a large factor for many of them whether to vote for Labor,” Wallace says.

However, a meeting last Friday between Corbell and his federal counterpart, Robert McClelland, has cast fresh doubt over the future of the bill. Corbell emerged considerably less confident than he had been a few days earlier.

“It’s quite clear the assurances given yesterday are not as clear-cut as they first appeared,” he says of federal Labor’s position.

Corbell says he’s disappointed at federal Labor’s last minute prevarications, but remains hopeful the aims of the ACT and the objections of the commonwealth can be harmonised. He will not say precisely what the commonwealth’s concerns are, citing an agreement between his office and McClelland not to publicly discuss the matter.

However, The Australian understands the sticking point is the bill’s provision for a public ceremony in front of a third party.

The chief difference between a same-sex register, such as the one in place in Tasmania, and a civil union is that a register records a relationship already in existence. Also, relationship registers are not confined to sexual relationships and can be used by anyone in a dependent relationship.

By contrast, a civil union, much like a marriage, brings a relationship into existence. Corbell says relationship registers are not adequate for the ACT.

Wallace says the ACL had discussions with McClelland’s office last Friday and although he will not reveal what was said, Wallace is confident Labor will opt for a system of state-based registers rather than civil partnerships.

The fight continues as the Opposition Liberal Party contemplates a shift to the Left.

In the weeks since Howard – who famously described himself as the most conservative leader since Robert Menzies – lost the federal election and his seat, prominent Liberals have been publicly scratching their heads on a raft of hot-button issues.

After the election, leadership aspirant Malcolm Turnbull declared a Liberal Party under his stewardship would apologise to Aborigines, ratify Kyoto and respect Labor’s mandate on Work Choices. Turnbull’s sudden shoot-from-the-lip liberalism was bold, unexpected, invigorating and politically self-destructive. By presupposing the party’s position on a range of tense subjects Turnbull, who is not liked within the party and enjoys no natural power base, lost the leadership.

New Liberal leader Brendan Nelson has been more circumspect. Nelson has wisely declined to push the party further down the ideological line that – for now – it is willing to travel. But he has moved to liberalise his party’s position on certain issues, including gay rights.

Nelson says he supports plans to remove legal and social discrimination against gay couples. The issue of same-sex discrimination is of deep personal significance to Nelson, who lost his brother, Philip, to AIDS in 1995.

In a speech delivered when Nelson was fighting a preselection stoush in his Sydney seat of Bradfield, he revealed: “My mother lost one of her sons to AIDS. She loved him, despite the erratic and emotionally turbulent life that he had led. He lived with the HIV virus for six years before he had the courage to tell, first, his brother and then his parents. I have often wondered whether they would have felt a sense of hurtful shame when he shared it with them, when he was given the positive result of his HIV test on his 23rd birthday in 1984. The answer at the time was probably yes.”

Nelson also spoke of the “humiliation and embarrassment” his brother endured, “the true extent of which he hid from those whom he loved”.

Certainly Nelson’s elevation to the Liberal leadership heralds a new consensus among the parties on the issue of same-sex law reform. Labor, the Australian Democrats and the Australian Greens support implementing the 58 areas of legal discrimination identified in a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission report into the subject. The report identified immigration law, Medicare and superannuation as redoubts of discrimination against same-sex couples. Even the ACL supports the removal of unfair discrimination and has indicated in-principle support for the HREOC recommendations.

But the line in the sand for all the main parties remains gay marriage.

Nelson has opposed gay marriage as well as in-vitro fertilisation and adoption benefits for gay couples. Labor is also opposed to civil unions, although Rudd has indicated he’s not going to stop it.

Wallace says civil unions or civil partnerships – he says the terms are interchangeable – diminish the concept of marriage. He says homosexual relationships are generally less durable than heterosexual ones. If allowed to pass, the ACT bill will set a new national “low bar” that other states and territories are bound to follow.

But the experience of other jurisdictions with civil unions cast doubt on Wallace’s concerns. In the US the issue of gay marriage has long been highly charged. Like Rudd, Vice-President Dick Cheney, whose daughter Mary is gay, has expressed a preference for the issue to be resolved by individual states.

In Massachusetts, the ACT’s ideological sister state, gay marriage has been legal since 2004. According to The Boston Globe more than 7300 gay men and women married as of January 2006. An informal survey put the number of gay divorces at 35 to 45 couples, or about 6 per cent of all marriages, well below the average divorce or separation rate of 20per cent in the first five years of marriage. And 91 of the 7828 civil unions registered in the state of Vermont, where civil unions have been legal since 2000, have been dissolved, a failure rate of just more than 1 per cent.

In Massachusetts, an attempt to pass a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was defeated earlier this year.

In Britain, civil unions have been legal since 2005. Partnerships give equality to gay couples in the area of tax, social security, inheritance and workplace benefits. In December 2005, Elton John became one of the first to tie the knot, marrying long-time partner David Furnish.

The likely outcome in Australia is that Labor will break faith with the Christian lobby and allow the ACT to legislate as it sees fit.

 

 


1 Response to “Is Australia Becoming Like Sodom and Gomorrah? Who is to be Blamed? You Decide…”

  1. 1 Edwin

    The lack of backbone by Christians over the last 50 years is to blame. It is time to stand up and state clearly what the bible teaches. In any event we need to show compassion for the misguided and offer caring advice on how Jesus would want them to be.

    With love in the Lord Jesus
    Edwin

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