Same sex civil unions passed in Qld


The Civil Partnerships Bill was passed in state parliament at 11.


10pm (AEST) on Wednesday, with 47 MPs voting yes and 40 no.

The bill, introduced by deputy premier Andrew Fraser, allows same sex couples to register their union with the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

“Queensland’s parliament has voted to lift the shackles of discrimination,” Mr Fraser said.

“It will go down as one of Queensland Labor’s most significant achievements.

“Today was a momentous occasion for civil rights.”

About 150 people sat in the public gallery through the almost four-hour debate and roared with applause upon the bill’s passing.

Outside parliament they gave Mr Fraser a hero’s welcome.

“Go forth and celebrate. I’ve got other work to do,” Mr Fraser told them before returning to the house.

Premier Anna Bligh said the bill may not be a priority for all of Queensland but it was for those who live with discrimination every day.


“This bill is fundamentally about the human rights of Queensland’s citizens, but it is much more than that, it is about the joyful business of love.”

The 31 Liberal National Party MPs voted en bloc against the bill and five of the six independent or minor party MPs present for the vote opposed it.

Labor MPs were allowed a conscience vote and four voted no, including Capalaba MP Michael Choi, Albert MP Margaret Keech and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller.

Health Minister Geoff Wilson, who had publicly supported same sex civil unions, made a surprise decision to vote against the bill.

He said that his working class and Christian background have been the pillars of his life and he felt uncomfortable that the bill created a new, legally recognised relationship that was an alternative to marriage.


“I believe in the biblical understanding of marriage,” he told parliament.

Ms Keech also declared that she was a Christian and that civil unions mirror marriage in all but name and undermines the institution.

“I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” she told parliament.

“I am not convinced that any change to marriage is for the common good for our society.”

Shadow attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie said Mr Fraser only introduced the bill to shore up the left vote and is rushing it through parliament before the election, due early next year.

He said the bill was only introduced on October 25 and there had not been enough time for community consultation.

“This bill is nothing more than a stunt,” Mr Bleijie told parliament.

He said over 54 per cent of the final number of submissions to a legislative committee that examined the bill were received 17 days after the cut-off date.

“We do not believe the people of Queensland have had the appropriate opportunities to raise their concerns,” he told parliament.

He also said the bill was not a priority for Queenslanders, who are more concerned about cost of living pressures.

Annerley resident Mathew Burke, who watched the historic vote, said the passing of the bill was another step on the road to equality.

“It is the next milestone, it was a long time coming,” he told reporters.

The legislation now aligns Queensland with reforms already made in Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and NSW.