Saturday, January 11, 2003

Hobart Mercury - "Gay blast for Hodgman"

LIBERAL justice spokesman Michael Hodgman should apologise to gayparents , Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said.

Mr Hodgman yesterday urged the release of legislation which would allow same-sex couples to legally adopt children.

``The Bacon Labor Government has gagged its own members from speaking freely on this unmandated aspect of its radical social engineering reform agenda,'' Mr Hodgman said.

``Making the draft legislation public well in advance would allow the community to have its say and aid in the identification and correction in the legislation that might not be in the interests of Tasmanian children.''

Mr Croome said the Denison MHA's comments denigrated Tasmanian gay and lesbian parents.

``There is nothing new or radical about lesbian and gay people raising children,'' Mr Croome said.

He said adoption would provide foster children and step-children with greater emotional, financial and legal security.

``Mr Hodgman owes an apology to all those lesbian and gay parents helping to raise the next generation of Tasmania,'' Mr Croome said.

The law is expected to most commonly apply to gay couples raising children from previous heterosexual partnerships, giving them the same legal rights available to married parents.

``There are many cases of single parents doing an excellent job but when it comes to adoption, the basic principle of having a mother and father is what the community tells us they want,'' Mr Hodgman said.

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