Maori Party stance on legal same-sex adoption under scrutiny

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(By GayNZ.com) The Maori party appears to be avoiding addressing the same-sex adoption issue after repeated attempts to get clarification on this important glbt legal issue have failed to draw a response.

At last month’s pre-election GABA Forum a stand-in spokesperson for Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples stated that her party’s policy was that all members of a whanau should be involved in the care of children including glbti folk.

Asked if this stance extended to formal adoption by same a same-sex family member and their partner she referred the question by email to several of the party hierarchy. Since then, and despite several successive attempts to put the matter before the party, there has been no response.

GayNZ.com was attempting to discover if the party would support the changes to the Adoption Act proposed by Labour and the Greens which would see the same sex partner of a single parent, or a same sex couple, able to adopt children on the same basis as currently available to heterosexual couples.

Currently a gay person can adopt but not a gay couple, thereby depriving many children of the security of two committed and legally binding parents in the eyes of the law.

Co-leader Tariana Turia voted against the Civil Unions Bill in 2005. In 2005 The Maori Party voted against the marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill which was put before the house.

It attempted to clearly define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, in accordance with the common law understanding of marriage. The Bill was rejected making it possible for courts to re-interpret the way marriage is legally understood. Important because the Relationships Statutory References Act makes no distinction between civil union & de-facto people. Marriage no longer having the unique or special status it deserves.

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