The Liberal National Party’s Queensland leader Campbell Newman will assume office as state premier today (26 Mar) with election promises including repealing same-sex partnership that gave his party a landslide victory over the weekend.
A huge swing towards the LNP during the state election on Saturday (24 Mar) could give the party with up to 78 of 89 seats at the state assembly over the next three years, even as the Australian Labour Party’s number fell to as few as 7 after ruling for five terms.
However, Newman’s stance on the legal rights of gays has been a conflicting one over the past year or so, so it remains to be seen what pledges he is prepared to keep.
Last month Newman vowed to look into repealing the law that allows civil unions in Queensland on at least two occasions and said he would definitely not support gay marriage, GSN reported earlier.
The Gay and lesbian community has promised to fight with all their might against any repeal.
Shelly Argent, a spokeswoman for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, was cited by news.com.au as being prepared for potential legal action against the government.
‘If he did begin to repeal it, we would be encouraging a huge boycott of lesbians and gays buying anything from Queensland or coming into Queensland for holidays,’ she said.
Confusingly, Newman – who tends to avoid giving his own opinion – was indeed also the first leading state conservative to support marriage equality last year, according to Advocate. Without enough evidence of public support, he said then that he would not push for it in Queensland.
Family Law Practitioners’ Association Queensland suggested that it would be possible to the LNP, now in power, to repeal the civil union law if it so wishes.
According to the organization, same-sex couples who joined in civil union even before the election may see their status as civil partners revoked and their rights affected, but Newman noted last month he didn’t want to leave those already in civil unions ‘in legal limbo’.
Newman had earlier also suggested that repealing the law for registered couples would ‘obviously be an unacceptable and intolerable situation for them, so in that scenario we wouldn’t be doing anything’.
Outgoing state premier Anna Bligh of Labour helped pass legislation recognizing same-sex civil partnerships in November, stating it would strike a blow against prejudice against prejudice and discrimination.
After what she called a ‘shattering’ election result, Bligh announced her decision to quit politics for good and apologized to the South Brisbane electorate that she has served since 1995.