Last night the Queensland Parliament voted 47-40 to introduce a civil partnership bill in their state.
I watched the final hour of the debate via a live web stream from Brisbane. I heard people get up and use their christian values to oppose the bill, and I heard people get up and support it based on their view that all people should be treated equally.
It was both exhilarating and depressing. Depressing because there is still much hatred in our society. Those who supported it because of their christian values would claim to not want to discriminate against me in one breath, and then say that allowing gay couples to register their relationship was wrong and would undermine marriage.
Exhilarating because some people just see everyone as equals – they get it.
It’s interesting to note that the world didn’t end. It’s interesting to note that here in Victoria our civil union bill hasn’t caused widespread disruption to marriage or civil unrest. In fact, nobody even thinks about civil unions. Not unless you want one.
Again and again, the opposition to the civil union bill was based on three things that have nothing to do with it.
1. It will redfine marriage. (This was a state register, nothing to do with the Federal marriage act)
2. It will deprive children of a mother and father (This has nothing to do with peoples right to breed, and they’ll do that regardless of the union of the parents)
3. It will lead to polygamy, polyamory, incest and probably sex with animals (umm… what?)
The reality of this new bill is this. Nothing has changed. Couples who lived together may now register their union. Couples wanting to live together may now register their union.
What so wrong about that?
Another state has the foresight to recognise that everyone should be entitled to legal recognition of their relationship, regardless of gender. It shows Australia coming to terms with acknowledging that all citizens are equal and that nothing bad happens because of equality.
The passage of the legislation sends a message that yes, indeed, gay people are valued, just like everyone else.
Well done to the 47 people who voted for this bill. It gives me hope.