A protester yells “We’re not fucking animals,” reacting to the news that civil unions between gay and lesbian Australians in the state of Queensland will now be known as “registered relationships,” and same sex couples have lost the right to surrogacy laws. Moments before this protester’s outburst in the Parliament session, Queensland Minister Michael Crandon said:
“The opportunity [has] now to come to a court and to register, if you like, their interest in one another…” [my emphasis].
The language is dehumanising – gay and lesbian Australians can “register their interest in one another” but the state will not recognise this “interest” as a full partnership worthy of the same legal rights and status as heterosexual couples.
The recently elected Liberal National Party Government is changing the law introduced last year by the former Labor government, which had finally allowed gay and lesbian relationships to be legally recognised as a civil union. This was seen as a positive step towards the legal recognition of marriages between homosexual and queer Australians. In a further legal blow to gay and lesbian citizens, their “registered partnerships” will not be allowed legal access to altruistic surrogacy (along with short-term de facto couples and single people). These are very dangerous times when Christian lobbying forces the Queensland government to withdraw the legal rights of Australians. To top it all off, it is still legal in Queensland to kill a gay or lesbian person and use the “gay panic” defence. That is, a murderer can argue that they reacted in violence because they were overwhelmed that a homosexual person flirted with them. Disgusting!
If you are in Queensland, go here to sign the e-petition to urge the Queensland government to end discrimination in surrogacy laws. Go here to sign the e-petition to urge the Queensland government to protect civil marriages and equal rights of gay and lesbian Australians.