Two Australian gay men made history yesterday when the Western Australian officials granted them custody of an adopted child. While the region’s government approved gay adoption back in 2002, it’s been a long, hard struggle for the queer couple. Some conservatives – including Prime Minister John Howard – claim queers can’t parent as well as their straight counterparts.
In fact, Howard took some time last week to laud the “traditional” family:
It gives children the best opportunity in life. I know for some that sounds harsh, I don’t think it’s harsh, I think it’s something that most people believe is the desired, the ideal outcome. [But] I’m not saying that gay and lesbian people don’t display enormous affection to children.
Australia’s Victorian Law Reform Commission, however, said otherwise, insisting that it’s in the best interest of these children to let gays adopt. They wrote,
The commission believes it is important the widest possible pool of people is available to help these children. Research shows that a parent’s sexuality is not a predictor of harm to children.
If the government fails to enact the proper national laws, hundreds of children will remain in foster and state care, not only providing a burden on tax payers, but depriving them of a stable, loving family. Unfortunately, the issue’s been dealt with primarily on a regional level. Celebrating yesterday’s legal victory, The WA Attorney General called the adoption “ground breaking”. If only that were true, as in, “The ground broke open and sucked down John Howard, the Australian Family Assocation and all those other self-righteous nasties, thus sending them to their rightful home: hell.”