Gay Adoption Bill is “off the ballot” – Clark 2nd July 2008

Green MP Metiria Turei’s private member’s bill aiming to legalise adoption by same-sex couples has been taken out of the parliamentary ballot, Prime Minister Helen Clark advised tonight. Speaking at the Gay Auckland Business Association’s AGM, Clark said the ‘Adoption (Equity) Amendment Bill’ had been removed, adding that adoption by gay couples was “a tough issue to tackle, which we must get to at some point.” Turei’s bill was submitted to Parliament twelve months ago. Under current law, single people – including gays and lesbians – can adopt, but same-sex or unmarried couples cannot.

…Describing Civil Union legislation as a major move forward for LGBT New Zealanders, Clark recognised that full marriage may be preferable, noting that some countries are moving toward this. She told the crowd, however: “We had a difficult time over Civil Unions, so we’re taking a breather on that one.” Taking questions later, she offered to “have a word” in Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s ear about supporting gay marriage, when the two leaders meet for lengthy discussions in coming weeks.

…The PM summed up: “I’m in politics for a kinder, fairer, more inclusive society. Legal changes like Homosexual Law Reform and Civil Unions don’t trigger an instant change of attitude in all people, but over time, they serve to normalise things. “Mainstream New Zealand will move with the times – but you need that legal framework.” (warning – website contains explicit material – NOT recommended)