Advocates condemn Archbishop, Qld Govt meeting
LGBT activists have slammed a meeting between Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and Brisbane Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge the night before the civil union legislation was watered down to registered relationship laws.
Earlier this week it was revealed by The Australian through Right to Information laws that Coleridge (pictured) had also sent an email to LNP MPs only four days before the legislation was tabled, noting that the Government was in a “delicate position” if it was not to be viewed as “ideological warriors taking draconian measures”.
“But the civil partnerships legislation is of a very particular kind, especially given the evidence that seems to be emerging ... that there is a slippery slope from registration to civil partnerships to same-sex marriage,” the email states.
PFLAG spokesperson Shelley Argent told Queensland Pride religion needs to stay out of state politics.
“Civil partnership is a civil issue, the churches should stay out of it. I think he (Coleridge) should stay out of politics. Newman and the LNP are supposed to be running this state,” she said.
“Newman doesn’t take input from the gay community … only from the people he doesn’t have to argue with. When he talks to the churches they are right behind him.”
The Queensland Government has denied that the last minute meeting with the Archbishop convinced them to change the civil union legislation.
The change in legislation reduced civil unions to a registration system and removed state sanctioned ceremonies as they “mimic marriage”.
Argent said that her group and others had previously sent out invitations to the Premier and Attorney-General to attend forums and events where LGBT voices would be present.
“We invited them again after the election we had a forum and we asked him to come and there was no reply,” she told Queensland Pride.
A spokesperson for Bleijie confirmed that invitations had been received from PFLAG and said the number of invites was the reason as to why the Attorney-General couldn’t accept the invitations.
“The Attorney receives multiple meeting requests every day and is unfortunately unable to attend all of them,” he said.
Argent said rather than progressing the state forward it seemed the LNP was intent on dredging up past mistakes.
“They are very quickly going back to the Joh days. What they are doing is dreadful,” she said.
“As a Queenslander I am quite ashamed and I am glad my son does not live in this state.”