Civil union bill to be pushed through

CHANGES to laws surrounding civil unions will be debated and pushed through parliament today.

Manager of government business Ray Stevens put forward a motion in State Parliament this morning to have the second debate of the urgent civil union amendment bill commenced so it could be passed.

Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth opposed the move and argued the members had not had time to properly assess the bill and speak with other MPs.

"This should be moved to the committee to be scrutinised," he said.

Opposition MP Curtis Pitt also criticised the LNP for attempting to railroad the controversial bill through parliament.

The amendment changes civil partnerships to "registered partnerships", removes the right of same sex couples to a state sanctioned ceremony and attempts to remove any provisions which "mimic" marriage.


Name change for civil unions

SAME sex unions will become registered relationships under changes to Queensland's controversial civil unions law.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie introduced an amendment to the Civil Partnerships Act 2011 on Wednesday night in state parliament.

The amendment will take away the right for a state-sanctioned ceremony from same sex couples and uses the term "registered partnership" rather than civil partnership.

But Mr Bleijie said this did not prevent couples from holding their own private ceremony

He said the name changes were consistent with terminology used in other states.

"These changes more accurately reflect the purpose and objectives of the act, which are to provide for a legislative scheme to register relationships," he said.

In an attempt to scrap any provisions that mimic marriage, same sex couples will now end their partnership through the births, deaths and marriages registry rather than through the District Court.

"These provisions could be seen to equate to the legal procedure to dissolve a marriage," Mr Bleijie told parliament.
Civil unions registered before the amendment will be preserved.

Mr Blieijie was heavily criticised in parliament after he introduced the "urgent" bill without the requirement it be scrutinised through the usual parliamentary committee process.

Manager of Opposition Business Curtis Pitt said the Government was willing to ride roughshod over the committee system.

Nicklin Independent MP Peter Wellington also asked Mr Bleijie to justify the urgency of the bill and why he would not have a chance to discuss it through the committee process.

Mr Bleijie replied it was a relatively small bill and there were plenty of copies around the parliamentary chamber for him to have a look at.

The bill will be debated at a later date.

Premier Campbell Newman announced the changes this month with the view of appeasing Christian groups.

The civil partnerships legislation was introduced by the Labor Government at the end of 2011.

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