Lesbian and gay identity, the closet and laws on procreation and parenting

Aleardo Zanghellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laws that restrict access to reproductive technology and fail to adequately recognise parent-child relationships in lesbian/gay families detrimentally affect not only individual lesbians and gay men interested in parenting, but the broader lesbian and gay community. On the one hand these laws, as they currently stand in much of Australia, are complicit in maintaining the closet, inarticulation and silence as defining features of lesbian and gay lives. On the other hand, they contribute to the construction of all lesbians and gay men as non-familial and anti-family. Representations of lesbians and gay men along these lines have traditionally been central to the construction of lesbian and gay identity in Australia, as revealed by a survey of queer-themed Australian works of literature and popular fiction. If improving the status of lesbians and gay men in heteronormative societies depends on destabilising identity categories, practices that contribute to maintaining the integrity of lesbian and gay identity should be targeted for change. Reforming laws on reproduction and parenting should then be a priority for lesbians and gay men, even those who do not wish to have children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-130
Number of pages24
JournalGriffith Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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