The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) welcomes any change which allows citizens of Australia to live equally and freely and without discrimination. We therefore applaud the proposed Victorian legislation from the Andrews Government which will not grant faith based groups, such as CatholicCare, exemptions which would allow them to refuse services to same-sex couples seeking to adopt.

Archbishop Dennis Hart is reported as calling for “protection for faith-based groups that do not want to give adoption services to same-sex couples“, and CatholicCare has indicated that it will cease providing adoption services if it is unable to maintain a discriminatory stance in doing so.

Once again, the Catholic Church demonstrates ignorance on the matter, with Archbishop Hart repeating unfounded claims that “children are best served when they experience the love of both a mother and father in a safe, secure and stable relationship“. This is clearly refuted by an abundance of quality evidence showing that stability of parenting structure and processes, not the gender(s) of the parents, is the overriding indicator of child welfare.

If the Church was really concerned with child welfare, they would accept this evidence and support equality in marriage and adoption as the best safeguard of the welfare of gay-parented children. Their concerns are demonstrably for themselves, and for maintaining their rights to discriminate against people.

"Once again, the Catholic Church and its affiliated groups wish to remove themselves from being subject to laws which everyone else are expected to uphold, and instead act according to their own limited world views. In effect, continuing to hinder Australia’s ability to be a free-thinking, and equal society.", stated AFA President Michael Boyd.

The AFA will continue to support any legislation which allows gay couples to live without interference and discrimination, including the right to adopt, and strongly opposes any group wishing to interfere with this on religious grounds.

Michael Boyd

Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 1062
Lane Cove NSW 1595

Phone: (02) 8007 4503
Email: [email protected]

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