Our former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is seeking legal advice about our historic apology being taken out of context and linked to a Christian rights agenda being run by The Australian Marriage Forum. How ironic that a marriage forum wants to hijack our apology for political gain when it was lack of marriage that was used to justify the theft of our newborns.
I was approached by the Canberra Times on Thursday to respond to the Marriage Forum’s use of our apology. I was asked:
“I’ve been sent a link to a video produced the Australian Marriage Forum and placed online –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U0e66iyVI8
The video starts with an exert of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s apology to victims of forced adoption. They then link this to gay marriage and what they refer to as a future “Motherless Generation”. How does Apology Alliance feel about former Prime Minister Gillard’s apology being taken out of context and applied to the same sex marriage debate?”
It is deeply traumatising that what was for us a profoundly moving and historical moment, the apology given to us by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2013, is used out of context and for a particular agenda. Only a few days ago our former PM opened up an exhibition in Canberra at the National Archives exposing the real history of, and the damage caused by, past forced adoptions in Australia. Two hundred and fifty thousand newborns were forcibly taken from their mothers, sight unseen, and given to strangers purely because of our unwed status. Many unmarried fathers who wanted to be included were excluded from any consent process – because of their lack of marital status. The argument used by adoption agents to justify the theft of thousands of newborns was that the child would be better off with a white, married Christian couple. It was for this policy and these dreadful past practices and the damage done to mothers fathers and adopted persons that we received a Federal apology.
Following is the link to the Michael Inman’s article in the Canberra Times
The article is being featured in a number of other publications
Dr. Christine Cole