Thursday 27 October 2011

'Marriage for All' rally in Cairns Friday

A bill introduced into State Parliament that would allow same-sex couples and heterosexual couples to register a civil union in Queensland, has been greeted with mixed opinions across the State, with the proponent, Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser saying it is “the right thing to do”.

Tropical North Queensland’s lesbian and gay community has welcomed proposed new legislation that could introduce a state-wide same-sex relationship register.

A rally will be held in Cairns tomorrow, Friday 28th October, on the Esplanade across from the Mercure Hotel, at 12.30pm.

Spokesperson for the Cairns LGBTI Alliance Ben Woodward, a sales manager for the CaPTA tourism group, said Cairns is already leading the way on the issue.

“Cairns Regional Council has already accepted the establishment of a local relationship register, and consultation into drafting the scheme has already commenced,” Woodward said.

“New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT all have similar registers so it was really a matter of when rather than will the state government move towards relationship equality."

The bill, that will formally recognise committed, loving relationships, as an alternative to partnerships under the Marriage Act, is a jump start over Federal Labor's plan to address the issue at their national conference in December. Premier Anna Bligh will allow Labor MPs freedom to vote as they wish on Fraser's bill, which is not an official government proposal but has high-level support.

Nick Thompson, a Labor candidate standing for Division 4 at the Cairns Regional Council elections, is disappointed LNP will not support the move.

"Campbell can't do equality," Thompson said.

Newman, who personally supports legalising gay marriage, says opposition MPs would vote as a bloc against the private member's bill, rather than being granted a free vote. The LNP party room today backed his position to vote against the civil partnerships bill.

"The bill is a stunt and a distraction from a government that had lost the state's AAA credit rating and failed to rein in cost-of-living pressures," Campbell Newman said. "This distraction is more about politics between the Greens and Labor than it is about the more immediate priorities Queenslanders are pleading with the Government to address."

Federal MP for Leichhardt Warren Entsch, a vocal voice for gay rights, has also voiced is concern over a long period that civil union and marriage equality, is "not a priority" and "there are other more important issues to deal with."

Andrew Fraser says Newman has failed to stand up for his own conscience saying it was “the death of liberalism” in the party.

Queensland Greens are claiming credit for the move to introduce same-sex civil unions, but say it won't help with any Greens preference recommendation for Labor in Fraser's Mt Coot-tha electorate, saying that as state treasurer they "hate the direction they're taking the state economy."

Ben Woodward says local activists in Cairns will continue to push for full marriage equality.

"However, we are happy that Andrew Fraser has provided couples with an interim measure for being able to prove the existence of their relationship, something that was ambiguous under the previous de facto provisions,” Woodward said. “Relationship recognition would also give same sex couples the benefit of having family and friends celebrate and recognise our relationships through state-sanctioned ceremonies that were previously unavailable.”

Woodward is asking the broader community to contact their local MP, presumably not Bob Katter, to support equality and fairness for relationship recognition.

"The Cairns LGBTI Alliance has noted that in other states both the ALP and LNP were granted a conscience vote on the issue of civil unions and would hope that this is the same in Queensland," Ben Woodward said.
  • Cairns Rally - Friday 28th October. The Esplanade (front of the Mercure Hotel) at 12.30pm

Premier Anna Bligh on Civil Unions...


Colin you know who said...

I am going just to see if the KATTER k PARTIES local candidates front hhhaaaaaa I will take a picture to send to my local member Katter.

Chris of Manunda said...

Chris of Manunda says,
I can remember when we used to throw them into the Torrens River in Adelaide with bricks tied around their feet to see if they could swim. But then when I joined the "Force" we could shoot certain species in central Australia on sight so long as we made a 'suitable' report the next day. My haven't we progressed

DAEVID88 said...

I don't care what the Poor Sick Perverts Call their Affairs, just as long as they don't have any Access to the Up-bringing of Children.

Perhaps Normal People should refer to their Association as Normal- Marriage.

Regards! Daevid J Palmer