'Outdated' Council of State backs gay adoption rights
6 October 2005, BRUSSELS — The Council of State does not foresee any large legal obstacles to granting adoption rights to gays and lesbians.
6 October 2005
BRUSSELS — The Council of State does not foresee any large legal obstacles to granting adoption rights to gays and lesbians.
It said the present law reserving adoption rights for heterosexuals only is not discriminatory based on the traditional perception of family.
However, the council also advised the federal government that the Belgian Parliament may open adoption rights up to gays and lesbians, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Thursday.
The council did lay down a condition though, stressing that adoption requests should be better motivated and the interest of the child should stand central.
Questions were also raised about adopting foreign children. If gay adoption rights leads other countries to refuse Belgians permission to adopt, gay couples will also be discriminated against.
When the federal government sought advice from the Council of State — the government's legislative advisory authority — about gay marriages, the council gave a negative appraisal of the text.
However, the government quickly rejected the council's views; with Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt stressing it was "not about to give in to outdated opinions from the council that date back to the start of the 19th century".
And the council's latest assessment of gay rights is vastly different. Instead of a moralising judgement, the text is exclusively legal advice bundled into 150 pages.
Opposition Christian Democrat CD&V MP Servais Verherstraeten said it appears as though the council wants to bury the past.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news