The Queensland Government has honoured its election commitment to restore legally recognised civil ceremonies for same-sex couples.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath (pictured) introduced the Bill in parliament this week.
“This Government has committed to restoring the civil partnership ceremony provisions in the Act to ensure that couples of any gender can participate in an official ceremony as part of the process of forming a civil partnership,” Ms D’Ath told State Parliament.
“We acknowledge there is both strong support and opposition from sections of the public in relation to this Bill.
“We have listened to the range of perspectives through consultation on the proposed changes with marriage celebrant associations, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex organisations and religious and family groups.
“The intention of this Bill is not to replicate or devalue marriage. However, the Bill provides couples who are not married with an opportunity to hold an official ceremony to acknowledge and celebrate their commitment.
“This is because these ceremonies hold meaning for many of us, including those people in same-sex relationships.
“These amendments are about doing what is fair, and supporting the equality and dignity of all Queenslanders.”
Rockhampton’s Rebecca Leeks, a Committee of Equal Love member, said it was a move in the right direction but was more an act of righting past wrongs under the former Liberal government.
In 2012, the Newman government altered the law so relationships were recognised as registered relationships instead of civil partnerships.
“You would register your relationship the same way you register a dog, and people were angry about that,” Ms Leeks told The Morning Bulletin.
However, Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said the LNP would not support the Bill.
“Our preliminary view would be that the State Parliament should not pass laws that pre-empt the view of Australians who Prime Minister Turnbull has confirmed will have a say on same-sex marriage at a referendum should a Turnbull Liberal-National Government be re-elected,” Mr Springborg said.
If the LNP votes against the Bill, Labor will need the support of the cross-bench to ensure it passes.
The Bill has been sent to a review committee, with a report due back in November.