TASMANIAN GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS GROUP

Media Release
Tuesday April 5th 2011

LIBS SLATED FOR “BIGOTRY AND HOMOPHOBIA”
HODGMAN LABELLED “WEAK AND UNPRINCIPLED”

Tasmanian gay activists are furious the State Liberals want same-sex surrogacy to remain a crime, despite their support for the decriminalisation of surrogacy for heterosexual married and de facto couples, and single women.

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said the move will encourage prejudice and deepen stigma against same-sex couples and their children.

“The Tasmanian Liberals have adopted a profoundly bigoted position which is at odds with the acceptance of same-sex relationships and families in Tasmanian society”, Mr Croome said.

“The move is completely out of line with principles of non-discrimination in Tasmanian relationship law and mainland surrogacy law – principles which a majority of the State Liberals have previously supported.”

“The only possible reason for allowing single surrogacy but not same-sex surrogacy is pure and unadulterated, homophobic prejudice.”

“The people who will suffer from the the Liberal’s prejudice are the children being raised by same-sex couples because their families are effectively being labelled ‘second-rate’.”

“Will Hodgman has shown himself to be a weak and unprincipled leader who has betrayed those Tasmanians who believed he was steering his Party to the political centre.

Debate began today on a proposed State Government law decriminalising altruistic surrogacy for opposite and same-sex couples, and singles.

The Liberals proposed a series of amendments restricting access to legal surrogacy including an amendment excluding same-sex couples altogether.

The Government Bill has majority support in the Lower House and is expected to pass, but levels of support in the Upper House are uncertain.
TASMANIAN GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS GROUP