Shine defends gay union stance
DESPITE being told by his constituents there would be a backlash at the next election if he voted yes, Member for Toowoomba North Kerry Shine voted in favour of legalising same-sex civil unions in Queensland.
After more than four hours of debate, the private member's bill was passed by a vote of 47 to 40 late on Thursday night.
The historic bill will grant same sex couples the right to enter into legally recognised civil unions, however, at least one of the parties to the civil partnership must live in Queensland.
"People deserve the choice and I feel very comfortable with the decision that I made," Mr Shine said.
"There was no pressure to vote along party lines. I voted according to my conscience," he said.
However, Mr Shine, who is a practising Catholic, said he believed the argument in favour of equality of rights was superior to whatever arguments have been used or put up against it.
"At the end of the day, why should one set of people have a different law compared to others?"
The debate prompted a strong reaction from gay rights, religious and family groups and Mr Shine said he expected some backlash from his constituents.
"I am expecting a backlash. Some people told me that they would not vote for me at the next election if I voted in favour of the bill, however, time will tell on election day I guess," Mr Shine said.
"The tone of the people that contacted me varied markedly. Most were respectful, some were rude and some were threatening," he said.
Member for Toowoomba South Mike Horan toed the LNP line and voted against the bill.
"I strongly believe a union is between a man and a woman," Mr Horan said.
"I voted no simply because I do not believe in it," he said.