Civil part­ner­ships cel­e­brate

Elec­tion com­mit­ment to Queens­lan­ders

Isis Town and Country - - News -

THE Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment has re­stored civil part­ner­ship cer­e­monies in Queens­land.

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral and Min­is­ter for Jus­tice Yvette D’Ath said the Re­la­tion­ships (Civil Part­ner­ships) and Other Acts Amend­ment Bill 2015 was passed by State Par­lia­ment this week, paving the way for same-sex cou­ples to have their part­ner­ship pub­licly recog­nised.

“I am proud to re­in­state civil part­ner­ships restor­ing equal­ity and fairness for all Queens­lan­ders,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“This de­liv­ers on a vi­tal elec­tion com­mit­ment to Queens­lan­ders. “When it comes to the most im­por­tant re­la­tion­ship in our lives, lan­guage and rit­u­als are im­por­tant. The changes in ter­mi­nol­ogy in this Act re­stores the dig­nity and the re­spect that all of our lov­ing re­la­tion­ships de­serve, re­gard­less of gen­der and sex­u­al­ity.”

In 2011, the Gov­ern­ment’s Civil Part­ner­ship Act 2011 in­tro­duced not only the re­la­tion­ship reg­is­tra­tion process, but also gave cou­ples the op­por­tu­nity to have an of­fi­cial cer­e­mony, prior to reg­is­ter­ing the re­la­tion­ship as a civil part­ner­ship.

The fol­low­ing year, the cer­e­mony pro­vi­sions were scrapped and ter­mi­nol­ogy changed so re­la­tion­ships would no longer be recog­nised as civil part­ner­ships.

“The de­ci­sion by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment to re­peal civil part­ner­ship cer­e­monies caused deep hurt in Queens­land,” Mrs D’Ath.

“I would like to make it clear to all Queens­land cou­ples, ir­re­spec­tive of gen­der, that this is your home and your state, and your re­la­tion­ships are valid and wor­thy of recog­ni­tion and re­spect.

“I am very proud to re­store a choice for Queens­land cou­ples that should never have been taken away.”

Mrs D’Ath said the amend­ments will com­mence once a num­ber of ad­min­is­tra­tive mat­ters took place, in­clud­ing the de­vel­op­ment of forms and guide­lines; and a reg­is­ter of peo­ple who can per­form civil part­ner­ship cer­e­monies made avail­able to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Mar­riages.

“There will be con­sul­ta­tion on th­ese ad­min­is­tra­tive mat­ters; and a com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­egy about the ac­tual com­mence­ment date,” Mrs D’Ath said. “The gov­ern­ment lis­tened to the range of per­spec­tives through con­sul­ta­tion with cel­e­brant as­so­ci­a­tions, les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual, trans, in­ter­sex or­gan­i­sa­tions, and re­li­gious and fam­ily groups.

“We ac­knowl­edge there is strong sup­port, as well as op­po­si­tion, from sec­tions of the pub­lic, but we be­lieve this is about do­ing what is fair, and sup­port­ing the equal­ity and dig­nity of all Queens­lan­ders.”

PHOTO: RE­NEE PILCHER

TO­GETHER: The gov­ern­ment has re­stored civil part­ner­ship cer­e­monies.

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