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Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018

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Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018\Second Stage
Bills\Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018\Second Stage

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Children and Family Relationships (Amendment) Bill 2018

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Senator


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Deputy Louise O'Reilly

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Louise O'Reilly

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Snippet Contents:

I wish to share time with Deputy Denise Mitchell. I welcome the families, some of whom are in the Gallery and more of whom will be watching the proceedings this evening. It is a great evening for them and there is much to be celebrated.
The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 was signed into law three years ago. That was definitely a monumental year for the LGBTQ community in this State. The passing of the marriage equality referendum and the Act represented great change for this State. The significance of that year pointed definitively to a brighter and more inclusive future for those in the LGBTI community. Most important, it produced some tangible results for them.
There were definitive results and there was a sense of achievement. However, in the case of the Children and Family Relationships Act the achievement only appeared to be real. Unfortunately, the reality of that Act has yet to be fulfilled and much of what was promised has not been delivered for those in the LGBTI community and same-sex couples. It is incredibly unfortunate that this is the case and that we have to ask why it has taken three years to bring forward even the most limited legislation to implement the relevant parts of that Act on behalf of those affected. Since I was elected to the House I have called for legislation to fully implement the Act time and again. Many other Deputies have done likewise.
There are same-sex families and couples who will definitely benefit from this legislation. Today is no doubt a significant day for them. With this in mind I commend the Minister and the Department on bringing forward this legislation. I hope this legislation delivers for them and gives them and their children the provisions and protections they need.
While the families affected are families in our eyes and in their eyes, this legislation ensures that the State recognises them as families and gives them the opportunity to register the births of the children with both parents registered on all relevant documentation. The real-life legal protections that this offers and the associated implications cannot be understated for these families. Moreover, we cannot downplay the positive personal effect of the State recognising both parents on a child's documents.
I have some experience of this, dating from when I tried to get a passport for my daughter, who was born before my husband and I were married.