Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has cautiously welcomed the Queensland government’s removal of provisions mimicking marriage in Civil Partnerships legislation.
ACL’s Queensland Director Wendy Francis said the initial legislation was rushed through by the ALP government late last year as a political stunt to put pressure on the ALP party to change its policy on marriage at the ALP National Conference.
“We believe today’s announcement will amend the legislation to align Queensland with other Australian states,” she said.
“Under the proposed changes, same-sex couples will no longer be able to have a state-sanctioned declaration ceremony which was an attempt to mimic marriage. The Civil Partnership Notary scheme will no longer exist,” Ms Francis said.
Ms Francis expects that the Bill will be renamed as a relationship register in due course and will have all references to sexuality removed. This register would exist for any two Queenslanders who wish to have a relationship registered.
Two e-petitions on the topic are currently active on the Queensland Parliament website. “Defending marriage in Queensland” which calls for the repealing of the Civil Partnership legislation has so far attracted 6802 signatures. Another petition calling on the government not to repeal the law, entitled “Defending civil unions in Queensland”, has 4302signatures.
“We have never sought to diminish substantive rights for homosexual people under the law, but to protect marriage from what was a Bligh government political stunt”, said Mrs Francis.
“We were seeking that this legislation not include ceremonies, celebrants or be same sex specific and it would appear that that has been achieved, and we congratulate the Government on that.”