Civil unions steady despite LNP changes
The LNP Government’s watering down of Queensland’s civil union laws has failed to dent same-sex couples and others from having their relationships formally and legally recognised.
Civil unions for both heterosexual and gay couples have only been allowed in Queensland since early March after legislation was passed by the previous Labor Government in late 2011.
After taking office earlier this year, the LNP however rushed in new legislation in June to remove the ceremonial aspect of the relationship registry as they were deemed “provisions that may be perceived to mimic marriage”.
According to figures released to The Australian, monthly partnership registrations peaked at 331 in March after the introduction of civil unions, with an average of about 115 per month since.
Following the LNP changes in June, there was a noticeable decline in registrations the next month with only 93 but by August numbers had returned to the median with 113. November saw 146 registrations.
Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome said the figures only proved that same-sex couples were willing to have their relationships recognised by the state.
“While many same-sex couples would prefer to have the affirmation that comes with an official ceremony, they will still enter a registered relationship because of the legal benefits, including immediate and guaranteed access to relationship entitlements,” Croome said.
“The fact that Queensland's same-sex couples have had rights and recognition given to them and then taken away in such a short space of time is another argument for amending the national Marriage Act so all couples have equal rights regardless of their gender or where they live.”
Like Queensland, NSW and Victoria do not offer official ceremonial recognition for civil unions. Civil union laws in the ACT and Tasmania though allow couples to choose whether they will hold a coinciding ceremony.