It’s been far too long of a time coming, but Victoria is currently moving a step closer to other Australian states’ same sex adoption rights, with the state government announcing a review of family laws today.
According to The Age, a review will be conducted over the current adoption laws in Victoria, with a proposed change to same-sex couples’ rights potentially being made equal with male-female couples by the middle of the year. The proposed change would mean same-sex couples could adopt children together; at present, a partner in a same-sex relationship cannot officially become a ‘parent’ of their partner’s child, only a legal guardian.
The move would hardly be a groundbreaking one for Australia, as equal adoption rights in New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia and ACT are currently in place.
Victoria’s minister for quality Martin Foley told The Age today, “It’s time our laws got out of the 1950s and caught up with the reality of modern Australia. This is not whether adoption equality will happen – this is about the best way to make adoption equality a reality for the thousands of Victorian families and who live in a grey legal haze.”
The issue also raises concerns about the current state of same-sex couples’ equal rights in Australia – in 2013, Kevin Rudd’s vocal support for marriage equality seemed to get the ball rolling on the contentious topic. But development in government beyond that initial push has been disappointingly slim. Yesterday, however, openly gay Liberal MP Dean Smith reportedly announced his shift in perspective on marriage equality, saying, “It’s getting harder and harder to justify opposing same-sex marriage in Australia. Is this really the business of government in today’s day and age? I’d argue no.”
Meanwhile, Ben & Jerry‘s will set up a phone booth in Victoria Park during Sydney’s Mardi Gras in support of the #EqualityCalling campaign. Visitors will be able to record a message for their local MP in the booth regarding their thoughts on marriage equality, AKA a bloody great initiative if we’ve ever heard one.
We’ve said it so many times before. But seriously. It’s time.
But don’t listen to me, FFS. Tom Ballard says it best.