Legislation to allow same-sex couples to adopt has passed the Victorian Parliament, after the Government decided to accept amendments made in the Upper House.
The bill originally did not allow religious organisations to refuse an adoption to gay couples, but the Upper House amended the bill last month to give religious exemptions.
The Government had been considering whether to reject the amendment and withdraw the bill all together.
Earlier this year, Victorian Equality Minister Martin Foley labelled the suggestion to allow faith-based exemptions to same-sex adoptions “rubbish”.
But the Government accepted the changes, in order to enact the bill.
Only four agencies in Victoria provide so-called “stranger adoptions”, and just one of them, Catholic Care, is opposed to allowing same-sex adoption.
Following the addition of the amendments, the Victorian Opposition’s spokesman for equality David Davis said the religious exemption was not discriminatory, and he believed that same-sex couples would be happy with the outcome.
“Same-sex couples will be able to get services that they need … this is obviously a balance to be struck, and the balance has been carefully thought through by the Legislative Council,” he said.
Before the 2014 election Labor promised to remove discrimination against Victorian same-sex couples who wanted to adopt children.
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