Ruth Limkin has given AMF permission to publish the following blog post in response to Queensland Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser's proposal to legalise civil unions in the state. The post was originally blogged here.
Dear Mr Fraser
I am sure that you are well aware that a raft of legislative changes were made federally in 2008 to ensure that no practical disadvantage existed for same-sex attracted people who were in a long-term relationship. Their access in manners of financial benefits, access to superannuation and inheritance is the same as male-female couples.
Therefore, your move to introduce Civil Unions can’t be to remove practical disadvantage, as none exists. If however, it is from a deep desire that all adult relationships be treated the same, then I suggest this legislation does not go far enough.
Adults who enjoy group relationships are discriminated against by this legislation as it appears to only recognise relationships where there are two people. Adult adherents of various faiths, which allow for group marriage, are still discriminated against through the introduction of civil unions, are their group relationships will still not be validated or celebrated by the state.
If this legislation is truly about removing a perceived discrimination, then it should be amended to allow any number of adults to share in a civil union.
Rather than rushing ill-consided legislation, which will lose many votes from the often silent majority, it would be best to pause and think of what is best for society at large, and most importantly, for children in our culture.
Time and time again, research shows that happy, stable marriage between a man and a woman is the best environment for raising children, and contributes to social cohesion and stability. I am not sure that the state ‘validating and celebrating’ adult relationships of three or more people would do the same, and yet this is what such civil union legislation would effectively allow (for there is no compelling argument to limit these relationships to two people).
Your announced move to introduce Civil Union legislation smells of a government more concerned with enacting a social agenda than representing the breadth of their constituency. After all, it became clear recently (after Adam Bandt asked his federal colleagues to assess community response), that Australians support the strengthening of marriage being between a man and a woman.
Please respect your constituents, and ensure that a Civil Union Bill is not introduced to the Queensland Parliament.