Natalie Brewster (left) and Kimberly Walker, with Charlie the dog, welcome the new legislation passed by the Queensland Parliament this week.
Natalie Brewster (left) and Kimberly Walker, with Charlie the dog, welcome the new legislation passed by the Queensland Parliament this week. Contributed

Same sex couples welcome new law

NATALIE Brewster is your typical 19-year-old.

She lives in Mackay and has been with her partner for a year and a half.

In the future she hopes to get married and start a family.

And from now on Natalie, along with her partner Kimberley Walker, will have the legal right to do so.

Earlier this week the Bill to allow same sex couples in Queensland the right to enter into legally recognised civil unions was passed through parliament.

The Civil Partnerships Bill was passed in State Parliament at 11.10pm on Wednesday, with 47 Members of Parliament voting in favour of the new legislation and 40 voting no.

"Being in a same sex relationship is really no different than any other relationship," Ms Brewster said yesterday

"It can sometimes be difficult in Mackay... there are quite a few judgemental people.

"I just try to ignore it."

Ms Walker, 24 said she had been following the news as the Bill passed through the parliament.

"I think it's about time," Ms Walker said.

"Living in Mackay it can sometimes be difficult... especially for guys, we know gay couples who sometimes get picked on."

The Bill, introduced by Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser, allows same sex couples to register their union with the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

"Queensland's Parliament has voted to lift the shackles of discrimination," Mr Fraser said.

"It will go down as one of Queensland Labor's most significant achievements," he said.

"Today was a momentous occasion for civil rights."

About 150 people sat in the public gallery through the almost four-hour debate and roared with applause upon the bill's passing.

Outside parliament they gave Mr Fraser a hero's welcome.

The Gay Mackay Facebook page was filled with comments from people celebrating the news.

Although this was a momentous occasion for some, several couples that were approached by the Daily Mercury yesterday chose not to comment or go public about their relationship.

The legislation now brings Queensland into line with Tasmania, Victoria, the Austalian Capital Territory and New South Wales, where similar reforms have been made.

 

Civil Unions

  •  The Civil Partnerships Bill was passed in Parliament just after 11pm Wednesday.
  •  47 MPs voted for the legislation and 40 against.
  •  Same sex couples can now register their union with the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
  •  At least one of the parties to a civil partnership must live in Queensland.


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