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Australia: Queensland to reinstate civil unions for gay couples

Australia: Queensland to reinstate civil unions for gay couples

Queensland is making moves to reinstate state-sanctioned civil union ceremonies for gay couples.

The state attorney-general, Yvette D’Ath, said Wednesday(25 February) the new Labor government would make good on an election pledge and re-introduce civil partnership ceremonies after they were scrapped in 2012.

‘It’s something that I’m getting briefings on as we speak,’ she told Fairfax Radio.

‘We have made it clear we will change it back. We’re putting in place (measures) to do that now.’

Marriage equality advocates said the Queensland government’s decision showed there was community support for treating same-sex relationships with respect, but cautioned that civil partnerships were not a substitute for marriage equality.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said, ‘The Queensland Government’s decision shows there is an appetite in the community for treating same-sex relationships with dignity and respect.’

‘But civil partnerships can never be a substitute for full marriage equality because they are not as widely recognized, understood or respected as marriage.

‘This is why countries like New Zealand and Britain have moved on from civil partnerships to marriage equality.’

Some form of civil partnership or registered relationship exists in four other states and territories: the Australian Capital Teritorry, Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria.

Couples in the ACT and Tasmania can opt for an official ceremony. Official ceremonies are not available in Victoria and NSW.