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28 Jun 2012

Queensland, Australia‎ reverses same-sex civil union rights

Queensland's Liberal National Party government have not only voted to downgrade civil partnerships to “registered relationships”; same-sex couples and singles will also be denied the right to have a child by surrogacy under plans flagged by the state government.

Last week,  the conservative Liberal National Party party, which took control of the Queensland Parliament from the Labor Party after winning the state elections in March, voted to extensively alter the provisions of the Civil Partnerships Act 2011 which took effect in February.

According to local reports, conservative lawmakers voted to redefine civil partnerships, downgrading them to the lesser class of “registered relationships”. The change will revoke same-sex couples’ ability to surrogate children as well as remove the option of a state sanctioned official ceremony so that “(registered partnership licensing) bears less resemblance to marriage.”

According to the Gay News Network, Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie renewed the debate on the Surrogacy Act last week and it has since been suggested that a three year jail term be introduced for couples who seek to become parents through altruistic surrogacy arrangements.

The Queensland Surrogacy Act, which was passed into law two years ago in 2010, allowed same-sex couples, unmarried domestic couples to have children, provided that the surrogates were not paid.

“In this debate and in the correspondence that the government received with regard to this debate there was much talk about mixing these issues with surrogacy. I can also advise the House tonight that the government will be changing the surrogacy laws in the future,” Bleijie said. 

“We will be introducing amendments similar to those introduced by the honourable member for Southern Downs when he was the shadow minister. We will be repealing the provisions in the Surrogacy Act that deal with same-sex couples, de factos [heterosexual couples]has quoted civil libertarians as saying that the Queensland premier's moves were to satisfy right-wing elements of his party as he had earlier said in a pre-election statement that he would not be changing surrogacy laws. of less than two years and singles.

Liberal National Party Leader Campbell Newman, whose party now controls 78 of the 89 seats in the Parliament, said that Thursday’s actions to amend Queensland’s civil partnerships system actually showed that his party was “prepared to reach a sensible compromise that retains rights.”


The "Rip & Roll" safe sex campaign posters which feature a real-life gay male couple in an embrace will be reinstated across Brisbane bus shelters after it became clear the complaints were part of a concerted campaign by the Australian Christian Lobby.

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) quoted civil libertarians as saying that the Queensland premier's moves to strip surrogacy rights from gay couples to satisfy right-wing elements of his party as the premier had himself said in pre-election statement that he would not be changing surrogacy laws.


Last month, the Newman government withdrew A$2.5 million in funding to the Queensland Association of Healthy Communities, the state’s only health organisation dedicated to the prevention of AIDS/HIV among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Last year, Healthy Communities last made headlines for its controversial "Rip n Roll" safe sex advertising campaign, which drew the ire of the Australian Christian Lobby.


Reader's Comments

1. 2012-06-28 20:58  
What to do, Just do not bare your child..
stay as a couple. free and easy.
only National Party government will problem in the future.
there has no more new child born.
because our society are become bigger and bigger..
just nice.
2. 2012-06-28 21:25  
I'm not sure what to say..., I personally would go for adoption, still having your own kid is pretty sweet.
3. 2012-06-29 01:35  
Queensland is quite backward. Many people there do not even know how to use a handkerchief. They walk around sniffing and snorting. So it is only to be expected that they will be a bit backward in social legislation.
It is not surprising that the QLD government has sided with the churches which practise child sexual abuse and hide the offenders under a cloak of secrecy akin to diplomatic immunity. It is these right wing Christians who lobby for the repeal of pro-gay laws.
4. 2012-06-29 03:15  
The government and the Church Party is shooting itself in the foot. Stupidity ends up costing sooner or later.
5. 2012-06-29 04:21  
well... this means australia, as a whole, is not the open-minded place most of us know of before... partly it is... but as a whole... nope...
6. 2012-06-29 04:48  
You need to remember that the governments of Australia are controlled by churches (even though only about the majority of Australians aren't religious). As such, the Queensland government has quickly become the most hated government in Australia. Fortunately, it doesn't represent the views of most Queenslanders on this issue and the next government should quickly set things right.
7. 2012-06-29 06:46  
Its an interesting phenomena that the closer you get to the equator the more conservative people become... and the more fundamentalist
8. 2012-06-29 10:20  
QLD has just gone backwards decades. Shame.
9. 2012-06-29 13:06  
So sad to hear that this country had decided to go backwards! It is 2012 and what is wrong with these people anyway? Just when you think the world is making progress.....
10. 2012-06-29 15:07  
Queensland Government and Religious groups are out of step with modern society and the decision should be entirely up to the person themselves as to whether they are so called straight, bi-sexual or gay. everyone has a right to do as they please and be comfortable in their own private lives.
we were all born equal and will die equal, came here with nothing and go out with nothing.
Who gives politicians or Church groups the right to run the every day life of humans in this Country.
Answer - No One.
This is Australia and we are supposed to be a a great country where everyone is equal and given a fair go.
Campbell Newman should hang his head in shame, and remember many of his politicians and Church leaders have committed far worse sins and crimes in the past than most people who will be affected by the proposed changes.
11. 2012-06-29 16:48  
Damn i could not believe that Australia is one of the highly civilized country on earth... with laws and leaders it has now, it would be impossible for my fellow fags there not to conclude that life sucks..LOL
12. 2012-06-29 18:14  
It's PINK DOT this weekend! And no article on Fridae to publicise or support it!?? Come on Fridae!!
13. 2012-06-29 18:34  
That was quick! :)
14. 2012-06-30 02:50  
We raise kids to think of religion as their source of morality, kindness and goodness. But as we mature, and if we are willing to do our own research, we find that religions have been and still are to blame for so much hatefulness. Maybe they're covering up for their own misdeeds, maybe they're offering their followers a scapegoat ( a group of people like us about which they can feel superior)...ultimately who knows what leads a movement that boasts of love for all and especially for children, to pressure political change that hurts good people, families and children: Ignorance, Making a better selling "product" for the flock? I guess we're fortunate that the Queensland government will be booted out of office at some point so the law can be corrected, and the religious zealots can say "We never wanted legislation that made things worse for children and families." I wish they could just accept gay people as equal in every way, but we'll surely have a few more iterations before that day.
15. 2012-06-30 10:02  
It certainly is a sad and depressing time for the LGBT community of Queensland. The decisions this current government is making will impact on the health and wellbeing of so many people for decades to come. The ACL should be ashamed of the way they are treating fellow human beings and one can only hope that someday they shall be judged for their actions.
16. 2012-06-30 21:02  
As Queenslanders seem to miss Sir Johs' time , all I can say is that they deserve all they get. Anna Bligh & her predecessor tried their best to catapult Qld into this century , but sadly failed to do so. Enjoy the dark ages again Queenslanders !
17. 2012-07-03 08:07  
Wow, a three year jail term for people just seeking for surrogacy partners? That is just so weird, who are these people harming? What a bunch of bogans, backward people who think that the world should remain what it is, well time will change, if they don't change with it, then they will soon find themselves left behind with nothing.
18. 2012-07-04 06:23  
The marriage business will move elsewhere than medievil Queenssland.

Just wait till it's discovered how many of those closeted pastors secretly have sex with other men on the side.
19. 2012-07-04 14:34  
both tonny abbott and pm gillard is stay on their way as opposition on gay marriage... they are putting their selves into publicity to be known... stupid!!!
20. 2012-07-04 14:57  
It's still called Queensland, though...
21. 2012-07-09 15:20  
One of the (many) disturbing things about this article is the defunding of Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC) , the organisation that provided HIV/AIDS health promotion to the LGBT community. Not only that, QAHC provided a whole range of services such as LGBT mental health counselling, drug and alcohol service, LGBT training for staff from other health services, social events, forums, workshops, arts health initiatives plus much much more...This is a dangerous move by the government as its playing with the lives, and health and wellbeing of our LGBT community....the Queensland LGBT community is under attack from a very conservative government..it feels like we are living in the 1950’s....it is indeed a dark day for LGBT people like me living in QLD....but we’re fighting back..and it is a reminder that the struggle for LGBT rights, wherever you may live, is always ongoing....

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