MP's bid to repeal same-sex unions
THE big step forward for gay rights in Queensland may be turned backwards if member for Burnett, Rob Messenger's bid to have same-sex civil unions repealed is successful.
The same-sex partnership rights could also be undone by the LNP, with leader Campbell Newman vowing to repeal the laws if his party wins the state election, and if no same-sex unions have been formalised by that time.
The Civil Union Bill recognising same-sex partnerships was welcomed by the gay and lesbian community when it was passed in parliament earlier this month.
But Mr Messenger said he would table the private member's bill if he was re-elected.
"The introduction of my Civil Partnerships Repeal Legislation and a successful vote will give all elected representatives an opportunity to right a wrong," he said.
The Burnett MP said he wanted to introduce the Bill because he felt deputy premier Andrew Fraser's legislation was rushed through and did not have the support of a majority of Queenslanders.
"I believe that in a new parliament there will be enough votes," he said.
The bill recognising same-sex partnerships passed with a margin of 47 to 40.
Mr Messenger found support in the bill from Coral Coast Christian Church senior pastor Brian Robertson.
"We recognise that it's an attempt to offer 'marriage lite' to the community," he said.
"Therefore we would recognise that it undermines the institution of marriage."
LNP Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey, said Mr Messenger was "playing politics" with the Bill because he had been suspended from the chamber at the time of the vote.
But Mr Dempsey would not confirm if he would vote for or against the bill if it was tabled by his former colleague.
Mr Fraser said Mr Messenger's repeal bid would be dependent on the make-up of the next parliament.
"If Mr Messenger wants to try and repeal the Civil Partnerships Bill, I encourage voters in his electorate to judge him on that, just as mine will judge me on my decision to introduce the Bill," he said.
"It's clear that this is a vote-changing issue for many people, both for and against. I expect that people will change their vote on this and other issues, but this reform is not about politics, it's about equality."
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