Loved by my two mothers

Written By miftah nugraha on Minggu, 30 Juni 2013 | 19.55

UNDERSTAND: Nick Outterside, who grew up with two mums, says opponents of same-sex marriage need to get over their fears. Picture: CHRIS KIDD

TEACHER Nick Outterside had two mums growing up through what he said was a happy, contented childhood.

Mr Outterside, who works in Burnie, wants those opposed to same-sex marriage and to same-sex couples adopting children to realise that children do not necessarily need a male and female parent.

"I don't want to sound conceited but I think I have grown up better than average," Mr Outterside said.

"I grew up in a house with openness, acceptance and tolerance. My parents were not good gay parents. They were just good parents."

An amendment to the Adoption Act was passed last Thursday and gay couples in Tasmania can now legally adopt children. The issue of same-sex marriage is still being debated.

Mr Outterside's biological mother is still alive but her partner of 35 years died of cancer last year.

Before she died, Mr Outterside pleaded with the Tasmanian Upper House to allow his mums to marry before it was too late.

That did not happen.

"They were life-long partners and referred to each other as wife," he said.

Mr Outterside and his brother grew up in inner Sydney. The fact he had two mums, rather than a traditional mother and father, was not an issue.

The boys still had male influences in their lives and both knew their biological fathers.

But he found talking about his childhood when he moved to Tasmania about five years ago prompted a different reaction.

"It is an irrational fear, but a fear nonetheless and I can't blame people for it," Mr Outterside said.

"We were raised well and actually fared better than some kids in the fact that we were raised in an environment where sexuality was talked about."

Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said the change to the Adoption Act had removed the very last vestige of discrimination against same-sex couples in existing state law.

The Save Marriage Coalition yesterday seized on that quote.

Spokesman Guy Barnett said if the last vestiges of discrimination had been removed the Tasmanian Same-Sex Marriage Bill should be withdrawn immediately.

He said the adoption changes were adult-centric and not in the best interests of children.

However, the Tasmanian Greens said the the most important thing for children growing up was that they were raised in a house of love, and love did not discriminate.

"The obvious next step is to provide same-sex couples with the right to celebrate their love through marriage," Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim said.

helen.kempton@news.com.au


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