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Content about LGBT rights in Australia

April 10, 2015

Two weeks after voting to allow same-sex couples to adopt in the state, the Florida House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow private adoption agencies to reject them as potential parents on religious grounds

The Florida state House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow private adoption agencies that have contracts with the state to discriminate against same-sex couples if the owner says they have a religious objection to them.

Representatives voted 75-38 in support of the bill with most of the votes against it coming from House Democrats.

Republicans say the bill is needed to protect religious adoption agencies from having to either go against their conscience or close down if another bill formally allowing same-sex couples to adopt becomes law.

April 4, 2015

The Australian Marriage Forum ran commercials in which they likened gay marriage to single mothers being forced to give up their babies by the state and warned of a ‘motherless generation’ due to gay men becoming parents

Australia’s former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has asked for the anti-gay Australian Marriage Forum to apologize for linking her 2013 official apology to victims of forced adoption in Australia to their campaign to stop same-sex couples from being allowed to get married.

March 30, 2015

Faith-based adoption agencies should be able to refuse to place a child in the care of same-sex couples, according to Australian Christian Lobby

Adoption agencies are at risk of closure unless they are allowed to show preferential treatment to heterosexual families, an Australian religious pressure group warns.

In a submission to the government in Victoria, the Australian Christian Lobby are looking to introduce a 'religious exemption' clause, that would give faith-based agencies the right to choose which couples can and cannot adopt children, according to the beliefs of the agency.

February 25, 2015

Civil partnership ceremonies were scrapped in 2012

Queensland is making moves to reinstate state-sanctioned civil union ceremonies for gay couples.

The state attorney-general, Yvette D'Ath, said Wednesday(25 February) the new Labor government would make good on an election pledge and re-introduce civil partnership ceremonies after they were scrapped in 2012.

'It’s something that I’m getting briefings on as we speak,' she told Fairfax Radio.

'We have made it clear we will change it back. We’re putting in place (measures) to do that now.'

February 25, 2015

'No matter who you love, you will receive the same rights and protections as everyone else'

The Obama administration has redefined the term 'spouse' to include married gay couples.

The plans, which have been published today by The Department of Labour in a new 52-page document, will grant gay couples the Federal right to job-protected leave from their place of work, so they can take care of a sick partner, child or parent under the 1993 Family and Medical Leave act (FMLA).

January 25, 2015

Same-sex marriage is now legal in the state – and couples who wish to jointly adopt will have to get hitched if they want to both be parents

The Virginia Senate committee rejected a proposal on Friday to extend adoption rights to the partners of unmarried gay partners.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in Virginia. However, not all same-sex couples wish to marry.

January 13, 2015

The women, who married in November and adopted two young boys in December, are believed to the first same-sex couple to legally adopt in the state

A same-sex couple made history last month when they adopted two young boys in Oklahoma.

An attorney acting for the female couple said that she believed it to be the first such same-sex adoption to legally take place in the state.

The adoption was granted on 19 December but the couple’s attorney, Terri Craig, only spoke out about the case this week.

The couple, from Okmulgee County, have chosen to remain anonymous but are happy for their case to be publicized.

January 6, 2015

But 60% say refusing to hire an LGBTI person is discriminatory

Almost 70% of Hong Kong people believe society should tolerate anti-gay views, according to a new survey.

The results released yesterday (5 January) also showed that 57% of respondents said schools should not have to teach that homosexuality and heterosexuality are both 'beautiful.'

Hong Kong Polytechnic University interviewed 611 adults in November for the survey, which was commissioned by the anti-gay Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group.

December 31, 2014

Bishop of Antwerp Johan Bonny wants the Catholic Church to find ways to give formal recognition to the love and commitment that same-sex couples have for each other short of marriage and hopes the church will one day give them its blessing

A leading Belgian Catholic Bishop has called for his faith to find ways of formally recognizing same-sex couples in the church while maintaining that heterosexual marriages must continue to occupy a special place.

December 30, 2014

The ruling came about after a Berlin couple had a son born via the use of a Californian surrogate mom and wanted to both be recognised as the child's parents

In a judgment that will provide legal recognition to some of Germany's gay parents, a ruling by the Bundesgerichtshof (the German Federal Court of Justice) has decreed that the male partner of any man with a surrogate child may also be regarded as the child’s parent.

Surrogacy is currently illegal in Germany. However, an increasing number of gay couples are exploring surrogacy as a route to parenthood, typically using surrogate moms abroad.

However, until now, only the biological father of any children born was recognized as the parent.

December 12, 2014

Quebec’s Bill 20 could force anyone who wishes to use donated sperm or eggs as part of an IVF cycle to undergo a ‘psychosocial assessment’ – a law change that some believe would unfairly impact on same-sex couples

A representative for Dr Gaétan Barrette, Quebec Minister for Health, has strongly denied to GSN that a bill that the Liberal Party minister has sponsored will unfairly target same-sex couples.

Bill 20 was introduced to the Quebec Parliament on 28 November. The controversial legislation is designed to, ‘promote access to family medicine and … amend various legislative provisions relating to assisted procreation’.

December 5, 2014

Unlike other parts of Australia, South Australia does not allow same-sex couples or single people to adopt. Its government is now seeking the public’s views on whether to change its adoption policies

In July, the South Australia Government announced that it planned to begin a public consultation and review of its adoption laws.

Currently, South Australia does not allow either same-sex couples or single people to adopt.

This is in contrast to most other parts of Australia: New South Wales, ACT, Western Australia and Tasmania all allow adoption by gay couples and LGBT individuals, as well as same-sex step-parent adoption.

November 13, 2014

New South Wales follows Queensland and Tasmania

New South Wales has become the third Australian state to recognize gay couples who have married abroad in places where same-sex unions are legal.

November 4, 2014

Australian Capital Territory's marriage equality law was overturned last year

The Australian government's successful challenge to the Australian Capital Territory's (ACT) gay marriage law cost the state $800,000 (US$697,800) in legal fees.

Solicitor-General Peter Garrisson told a Legislative Assembly hearing yesterday that the ACT paid $500,000 (US$436,130) in legal fees to the federal government after the country's first marriage equality law was overturned in December last year.

Bills for two external lawyers totaled $112,000 (US$97,690) and the cost of work completed by government lawyers was about $200,000 (US$17,445).

October 31, 2014

A 26 year veteran of the fight for LGBTI equality in Australia, Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome has been honored as the 2015 Australian of the Year for his home state of Tasmania

Veteran spokesperson for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group and national convener of Australian Marriage Equality, Rodney Croome has been named the 2015 Australian of the year for his home state of Tasmania.

Croome was honored for his 26 year involvement in the fight for LGBTI equality which has culminated in his role as national spokesperson for the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia.

October 16, 2014

New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania have introduced bills to repeal laws forcing married transgender people to divorce before their new gender is recognized

Three Australian states today introduced bills to scrap laws that require married transgender people to divorce before their new gender is recognized.

Legislation was introduced in New South Wales by Greens legislative council member Mehreen Faruqi and Independent legislative assembly member Alex Greenwich, in South Australia by Greens legislative council member Tammy Franks, and by Greens house of assembly member Nick McKim in Tasmania.

October 7, 2014

Poll finds 68% of Jamaicans feel LGBTI people should not have the same rights as others

Nine in ten Jamaicans said the country's sodomy law that criminalizes gay sex between men should not be repealed, according to a new poll.

Only 5% said the law should be abolished and 4% said they did not know.

The poll interviewed people and was conducted on 6-7 September and 13-14 September. It was commissioned by the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.

The poll also found that 82% of Jamaicans said they believed gay men were not treated fairly by the legal system or the police.

September 25, 2014

A bill to recognize the hundreds of Australian gay couples who wed abroad was introduced in March

The Australian Senate has recommended parliament does not pass a bill to recognize gay couples who married in places where same-sex unions are legal.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee released a report on the bill today.

Some submitters expressed concern that the bill was 'a surreptitious attempt to introduce marriage equality.'

The Law Council of Australia was concerned that the bill would create a discriminatory situation where only couples with the financial resources to travel overseas would have access to gay marriage.

September 23, 2014

Female same-sex couples will now be allowed to adopt babies born of IVF and other medically assisted procedures

France's highest civil court has given married lesbians more adoption rights.

The Court of Cassation has said even though gay couples are still banned from using IVF and other medical ways to assist with reproduction, that is not enough to prevent gay women their legal right to adopt their married partner's child.

As these female same-sex couples are stopped from accessing fertility treatment in France, it has sent many of them to Belgium or Spain.

September 17, 2014

Legislation in the self-governing Australian territory of Norfolk Island has been put forward to allow same-sex couples to marry and the bill has been crafted with a view to surviving any constitutional challenge

At 10.30 today, Sydney time, a bill to create legal same-sex marriages was tabled in the parliamentary Assembly of the autonomous Australian territory of Norfolk Island – putting it on a course to become the first part of Australia where same-sex couples will be able to legally marry.

The bill was put forward by Norfolk Island Assembly member Hayden Evans and aims to allow Australian same-sex couples to marry on their home soil rather than having to travel overseas.

September 15, 2014

A lesbian couple in Dane County have been granted permission to adopt each other’s children – while a final decision is still pending from the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage in the state

Although same-sex marriage in Wisconsin remains barred for the time being, two judges in the state have granted adoptions that recognize the marriage of same-sex couples. Adoptions by same-sex couples have previously been illegal in the State.

A ban on same-sex marriage in Wisconsin was overruled in June when federal Judge Barbara Crabb said that the ban was unconstitutional. Over 500 same-sex couples rushed to take advantage of their legal ability to marry.

August 9, 2014

Proposed legislative change is the latest move in the country’s clampdown on LGBTI rights

Indian’s Union Government has moved to stop same-sex couples from adopting children. The decision was taken while the federal cabinet reviewed amendments on Wednesday (6 Aug) to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

Although LGBT single people are not currently banned from adopting, campaigners in the country now fear that the ban on same-sex couples could be extended to single LGBT people too.

August 8, 2014

One Californian mom explains why she regards surrogacy, and helping gay men to become dads, as her own form of ‘Uterine Activism’

Kelly Enders-Tharp clearly enjoys being pregnant. More significantly, she loves helping to create families. After giving birth to three of her own children (Ruby in 2001, Preston in 2003 and son Sawyer in 2006), she made the decision to help others become parents.

July 23, 2014

Two lesbian couples are challenging the country's laws on joint child support benefits

Austria’s High Court has been asked to decide whether two parents in a same-sex relationship should both receive childcare benefits.

The case has been raised by two separate lesbian couples: one based in Upper Austria and the other in Tyrol. In the latter case, the couple’s claim was rejected by the Tyrolean Regional Health Insurance, who stated that the right to shared childcare was limited to heterosexual partners, "connected together by the bond of biological parenthood, foster care, or adoptive parenting."