(Blogmensgo, gay blog of March 21, 2018) On March 13, 2018, the Northern Territory in Australia enacted an amendment to the Adoption Law allowing same-sex couples to adopt children without restriction. Previously, homosexual couples willing to adopt had to be married for at least two years before adoption. The new law, introduced in parliament in 2017 and supported by all political parties, allows gay and lesbian couples to adopt in all Australian states and territories. The Northern Territory was Australia's last area where LGBT couples were still banned from adopting children.
Adoption by same-sex couples in Northern Territory as well
Same-sex couples were already allowed to care for foster children throughout Australia. Now gay and lesbian couples can adopt children throughout Australia, regardless of marital status.
The authorities have finally realized that a child's welfare does not depend on any administrative status, but rather on whether he or she grows up in a stable, loving and safe home.
Fighting against other homophobic discrimination
In both the Northern Territory and the rest of Australia, there are still various forms of discrimination to be eliminated, such as entries in the criminal records of gays on the grounds of homosexuality. LGBT associations demand that these convictions be removed from the criminal record and that the persons concerned be compensated, albeit in a symbolic way.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has so far refused to issue a ban on conversion therapies saying that this is the task of Australian states and territories. Despite the legalization of homosexual marriage in Australia in December 2017, there are still schools, pharmacies and “psychotherapists” who practice or encourage such conversion therapies for religious or other reasons.
Even the national mental health initiative, whose tasks include suicide prevention and the fight against discrimination, is silent on these conversion therapies.
The state of Victoria is currently calling in vain for a federal law or proactive national policy to combat these so-called “therapies.” Martin Foley, Victoria's Minister of Mental Health, criticizes Malcolm Turnbull for preferring to meet American singer Cher during Sydney Mardi Gras rather than making important public health decisions.
Until the expected federal law comes into force, Victoria has given the health authorities powers of investigation and punishment for all natural or legal persons that treat homosexuality as a disease.
Frank-S / MensGo