Thursday, June 9, 2011
A bill which will allow same-sex parents in South Australia to have both their names included on their child's birth certificate passed the House of Assembly this morning.
The Family Relationships (Parentage) Amendment Bill 2010 introduced by Greens MLC Tammy Franks and which passed the Upper House last November, passed the Lower House by 24 Yes votes to 15 No votes.
“I am delighted that this bill – which grants same sex couples equal parenting rights – has at last passed through the South Australian Parliament," Franks told Gay News Network.
“This bill has been a great cross-party effort. Lots of members took a great interest in it and I’m happy to see that South Australia is at last catching up with the rest of the country."
Franks said the legislation would make "a very practical difference" to the lives of many SA families.
Ian Hunter MLC said he was particularly pleased the bill was passed as it was one of the main recommendations of the Social Development Committee's recent inquiry into same sex parenting, which Hunter chaired.
“This legislation passed the Legislative Council several months ago by a massive margin, and has now passed the lower house by a similarly large margin,” he said.
Hunter praised the Let's Get Equal campaign for taking their case to the politicians.
"South Australia was the only state in the county not to recognise same sex parents on birth certificates and I was disappointed that the government did not move on this matter when I raised it first with them last year," Hunter said.
"Nonetheless, the community took its case directly to politicians with a relentless campaign of family visits to MPs electorate offices and persuaded MPs to support the measure."
Liberal MP David Pisoni said he was "thrilled" the bill had been passed, especially since there is such limited time to debate Private Member's Bills.
"It was way down the list at number 18 but we managed to move it up to number eight and quickly moved first and second readings and voted, and it's now on its way to the Governor," Pisoni told Gay News Network.
"South Australia is now in the 21st Century."
Pisoni said it was a shame that, being the first state to decriminalize homosexuality, SA was the last state to grant security to the children of same sex couples.
"This was the result of the combined effort of progressive thinkers across the parties," Pisoni said.
"We are no longer the red-neck state of Australia."
Let's Get Equal's Terri Mitchell-Smith told Gay News Network the outcome was "fabulous".
"We would like to thank all the politicians for their time and their attention, especially David and Tammy and Ian for carrying the bill through," Mitchell-Smith said.
"We have been pushing for this since I was pregnant with [our daughter] Madison – and she's now three and a half! She thinks Parliament House is her second home," she laughed.
"What can I say, we are thrilled!"