Tasmania’s Commissioner for Children issued a statement last week, after Tasmania’s parliament endorsed marriage equality. It stated:
“The Commissioner for Children has today welcomed the message of support from Tasmania’s Parliament to Canberra, on the issue of marriage equality. This affirming message is of particular importance to the children of same sex parents.
“Tasmanian children come from many different types of families. Marriage equality is really important to children. It sends the message that their parents’ relationship is just as important and valid as any other family arrangement. This helps to build a child’s sense of self-worth and acceptance by their peers,” said Mr Morrissey.
“The decision to marry should be a choice available to all couples; to deny that choice is discriminatory and unfortunately sends an unacceptable message to the children of same-sex parents that their family is somehow less accepted and valued by the community. As we know, peer acceptance and “fitting in” are really important for children of all ages,” Mr Morrissey said.
“The adoption of marriage equality is an important step in validating the experience of children of same-sex parents. Children of these families often suffer bullying and discrimination. Recognition of same-sex relationships is a positive step toward removing stigma,” the Commissioner said.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child reflects the importance of family to children and young people. It recognises children’s right to live free from discrimination and to grow up in a caring, secure environment regardless of their parent’s sexual identity or orientation.
It is the quality of care, love and support that a child receives that has the most profound impact on the overall wellbeing, not the sexual identity or orientation of their parents.
Marriage equality is an important step towards ensuring that children grow up in a society where they feel valued, safe and secure, regardless of their family structure.
Whilst there were differing views on the issue, all involved in this discussion are to be applauded for their respectful approach to this debate.
Last night’s decision sends a strong and positive message that the Tasmanian Parliament acknowledges that loving families can come in many forms.
Commissioner for Children”