Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Courier Mail - “Surrogacy Bill 'could lead to same-sex parenting'” by Rosemary Odgers and Margaret Wenham

CONTROVERSIAL laws giving same-sex couples and sole parents the right to have a child through surrogacy are set to divide State Parliament in a landmark debate today.

Queensland's 89 MPs will get a rare conscience vote on whether to legalise altruistic surrogacy in Queensland and allow the legal parentage of a child to be transferred from the birth mother to its intending parents. But church and family groups were last night urging the State's 89 MPs to scuttle the Bill, angry it will allow gay couples and single parents to access surrogacy.

Family Council of Queensland president Alan Baker called the Bill "a trojan horse for the normalisation of same-sex parenting", saying it established in law "the absurd proposition that two men or two women are the same as a mother and father."

He accused the Government of "trampling on the rights of children".

The Opposition is also angry the Government has tied the issue of surrogacy to gay parenting and has introduced its own Bill that, if passed, would restrict altruistic surrogacy to heterosexual married and de facto couples.

"The Government banned same-sex and singles from adopting . . . why is it different for surrogacy?" Liberal National Party deputy leader Lawrence Springborg said.

But gay and lesbian rights organisations have waged their own campaign, urging Parliament to pass the laws.

Queensland Association for Healthy Communities general manager Paul Martin said: "Lesbian and gay people are already having children ... what this legislation brings is certainty and clarity for same-sex parents and their children."

The LNP's 34 MPs are expected to toe the party line and vote against the Government while getting a conscience vote on their own Bill.

Only two Labor MPs – Margaret Keech and Michael Choi – have expressed concerns about the Government's position, making it unlikely the laws will be blocked.

[Source: Original Article]

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