MP labels same-sex bill a stunt

THE State Government's handling of the controversial same-sex civil partnership Bill has been branded a "stunt" by Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey.

The Bill was passed with 47 votes to 40 late on Wednesday night and will mean same-sex partnerships will be legally recognised in Queensland.

Mr Dempsey said the bill had been a grab for votes.

"They abused the process in that the Deputy Premier (Andrew Fraser) introduced it as a private member's bill trying to get votes in Mt Coot-tha," he said.

"He then used the resources of other government departments to get his bill through.

"No one (else) has access to these kinds of resources."

When asked about LNP leader Campbell Newman's stance of personally supporting same-sex unions but refusing to allow a conscience vote, Mr Dempsey referred again to the politics of manoeuvre.

"We have a partyroom where the decisions are made and, from there, a unanimous decision was made," he said.

Mr Dempsey said the last-minute passage of the bill was disrespectful to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger said Mr Newman had failed to show courage and leadership by not committing to repeal same-sex legislation if the LNP won the next election.

"Campbell Newman must be feeling pretty happy with himself today now that gay marriage is a step closer to becoming reality," Mr Messenger said.

"If he'd been fair dinkum about opposing gay marriage ... he would have committed the LNP in government to repeal the Civil Union Act.

"There's no doubt that Labor's Civil Union vote has started life as a political stunt, but now that the vote has become reality, it would have been a good chance for Campbell Newman to allow a conscience vote for all LNP members."

Mr Fraser said the vote lifted "the shackles of discrimination for same-sex couples".

"It allows same sex couples to celebrate with their families and friends through a public ceremony," he said.

Let the NewsMail know what you think about the passing of the bill in the comments section below.



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