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The Last Days of Chez Howard?

Mon 11 Jun 2007 In: Comment

John Howard So, erstwhile Australian federal Prime Minister John Howard opposes same-sex parental adoption of children, on the spurious basis that they're 'better off' in married heterosexual nuclear families. Er, no. Actually, as I've noted several times beforehand, evidence-based studies from pediatrics and developmental psychology now enable us to make the following conclusions about same-sex parenting. Most of this research centres on lesbian-led families, probably because there are more of them due to women's reproductive capabalities, previous heterosexual family formation and access to IVF and other reproductive technologies. Anyway, same-sex parents score better on communication with each other and with their children than straight counterparts. There is no perceptible adverse effect on educational prospects and employment outlook for adult children of lesbian and gay led families. Gay men are disciplinarians who set clear boundaries, but also sacrifice career prospects for the sake of parenting, and also permit the gradual achievement of autonomous goals as adolescent emerges. Children of lesbian-led families fare better than those of heterosexual nuclear families when it comes to non-traditional careers for daughters, and sons score better on interpersonal relationships with the opposite sex. New Zealanders are quite aware of the above, which is why reproductive technology access, fostering and guardianship responsibilities are already open to same sex parents. And also why Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory have already affirmatively reformed their laws to include eligible same-sex parents. Why is Howard doing this? Well, you would too if you and your party were trailing the Opposition by as much as Howard and his Liberal/National Coalition now do, compared to the Australian Labor Party. Finally, under new Leader of the Opposition Kevin Rudd, the federal ALP looks unified and has even said that it will legislate for something like federal civil unions or registered partnerships when it next wins office, which may be later this year. Rather like the dying days of the Muldoon administration here in 1984, Howard is using all the populist scapegoats at his disposal to try to retain power. However, as with Muldoon, his dark sorcery appears to have finally worn off. (Even if I'm not overly happy with Rudd over logging of Tasmanian native forests and his industrial relations stance...) Later this year, we may finally witness the last days of chez Howard. Craig Young - 11th June 2007    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Monday, 11th June 2007 - 4:30pm

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