Civil union repeal will hurt LGBTI rights

April 25, 2012

A repeal of Queensland’s civil unions would affect rights relating to children, wills, immigration, taxation and more, according to Matilda Alexander, Prisoners’ Legal Services coordinator and LGBTI Legal Services volunteer.

Civil unions are currently registered at the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages but may soon be repealed. Photo: Chris Woods.

Civil unions are currently registered at the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages but may soon be repealed. Photo: Chris Woods.

 

Ms Alexander claimed repealing civil union legalisation, an option currently being considered by the state government, would specifically remove unionised couples’ rights from Status of Children Act 1978 and Succession Act 1981, which concern parenthood and wills respectively.

“Another major difficulty I anticipate federally will be for immigration matters, where a union is the basis for a spousal visa,” Ms Alexander said.

She said the repeal would only take place after an investigation by Jarrod Bleijie, Queensland’s new Attorney-General.

Ms Alexander said he legal changes could take several forms: from removing the concept of civil unions but retaining rights under de facto relationships, weakening the concept by removing certain rights and responsibilities, or repealing the act entirely.

“I think that the lesbian and gay community want both symbols and rights in equity with heterosexual people,” Ms Alexander said..

“The community will not be satisfied with just one or the other.”

Pete Foley, a Brisbane artist currently in a civil union, described the process behind the repeal as undemocratic and “bowing to loud, extreme views.”

“It’s incredibly insulting. It affects no-one but those who find it important,” Mr Foley said.

“I think I find it hard to verbalise how offended I am by this back-and-forth. How a civil-human right that affects no one else can be thrown about like a bargaining toy really is beyond me.”

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