Wednesday, June 11, 2003

More from the dark ages

Bill English is objecting to the Care of Children Bill because it "creates female fathers". According to National's press release:

Section 17 (2) of the new legislation, which was introduced to Parliament last night, says "to avoid doubt a reference in this section (or elsewhere in this Act) to 'the father of a child' is a reference to the same sex defacto partner of the mother of the child."

"This section effectively declares that the legal definition of a father is to be changed to include women," says Mr English.


In case Mr English hadn't noticed, society has moved on from the days when men were men and the sheep were worried. Gay couples with children aren't exactly an unknown phenomenon, and therefore we need to update the law to suit, by recognising social as well as genetic parenthood. While we could rewrite every law touching on parenthood and guardianship to be gender neutral and refer to androgynous "parents", that's a massive task, and in the meantime it's simply quicker to alter the legal definition of "father" to suit. If this offends Bill English and his fellow neanderthals, then tough shit. They should try crawling into the twenty-first (or even the twentieth) century, rather than hanging around in the dark ages.