Last night, Queensland’s State Labor Government voted in favour of legalising same sex unions. It was a close vote of 47/40. The Courier Mail reported:
The bill, introduced by Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser, enables same-sex couples to register their union with the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
The bill will grant same-sex couples the right to enter in to legally recognised civil unions. At least one of the parties to the civil partnership must live in Queensland.
The debate has prompted a strong reaction from gay rights, religious and family groups.
Labor MPs were allowed a conscience vote, but all Liberal National Party voted against the bill.
Four Labor MPs voted against the bill, including Health Minister Geoff Wilson, Capalaba MP Michael Choi, Albert MP Margaret Keech and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller.
You can read the full story here.
Queensland is now the fifth state or territory to legalise civil unions, behind Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Many who know me will know that I am a Christian and am very firm in my beliefs. Some, but not all, will know how divided I am when it comes to the issue of legalising gay marriage. The Christian part of me stands firm in saying that marriage was an institution designed by God between a man and a woman (you can argue with me all you want on this, but I won’t change my mind). The other part of me feels like it’s not up to me to decide who can and can’t marry. I don’t believe in saying that their love is wrong, for I genuinely don’t believe that.
I feel that legalising civil unions across Australia (I’m looking at you Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia) is a necessity. I believe that homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples. To me, legalising civil unions means that gay, lesbian and trans-gender’s aren’t having their human rights infringed.
I still don’t know how I feel about it being under the banner of marriage. As much as people try to deny it, marriage IS a religious institution. I can’t say what I would vote if it came to a referendum (not that I think it would).
All I know is that it is not up to me personally to decide whether it should or shouldn’t be legalised. For the meantime, I will remain divided.