Same Sex Couple Rights take hit in Queensland
As you know, we here in Ireland are fighting hard to get civil union’s “upgraded” to marriages. After all, separate is never equal and we need the powers that be to know we are not happy with being second class citizens. However, in Queensland Australia the government have gone the other way and “downgraded” civil unions to registered relationships and removed all state sanctioned ceremonies. Sure while you’re at it why not strip some of the LGBTs parenting rights away too? Oh they did! The late night discussion, which lasted 5 hours, also resulted in the surrogacy law’s being changed, they are now only available to heterosexual couples. This all follows the state cutting funds to the only LGBT health services centre by millions which saw around 2000 protest the parliament.
So why change the laws now? Well, last March saw the election of the Liberal National Party in the region, they are conservative and their leader, Mr Newman, under pressure from Christian groups, had said he would repeal the civil unions laws if elected. However, Mr Newman did say that he would not change the surrogacy law’s, so much for that. The laws themselves weren’t long in place when the election took place and it must come as a cruel blow to LGBT rights campaigners to have it revoked so soon after its enactment.
In an interview with the brisbanetimes.com.au, Mr Newman said
This shows that we’re prepared to reach a sensible compromise that retains rights
I think he was being serious too. He also said that another party, Katter’s Australian Party, which had tried to get the unions abolished altogether would lead to “a lot of trauma to many innocent people”. How thoughtful of him. It never seems to get any less aggravating does it? When someone is being homophobic but points to someone else who is more so and then expects us to be grateful they aren’t as bad.
While the debate was taking place shouts of “shame, bigot, shame” could be heard from protesters outside the parliment.
The Australian Marriage Equality lobby group’s Alex Greenwich has commented saying
Removing rights from citizens is one of the most un-Australian actions this government could take
I think it is inhumane too Alex and it seems to be happening in various places around the world. Every time we take a step forward somewhere, you read about several pushes back somewhere else. So lets not sit on own lorrells here in Ireland, get yourself to your TD and let him/her know we want full equality.