The War in Queensland
Gay and lesbian tourists planning to visit the Great Barrier Reef are advised to put their plans on hold for a few years, as the most homophobic government in Australia gets into its stride.
The state government has made it a top priority to strip rights and services from its gay and lesbian citizens.
Almost as soon as they were elected, Queensland’s Liberal National Party government stripped all funding from the state AIDS Council.
Then late on Thursday night they rushed through emergency legislation downgrading same-sex civil unions, stripping away state sponsored commitment ceremonies and court-based dissolution procedures.
The Australian Christian Lobby had complained they mimicked marriage and divorce procedures too closely.
Civil Unions now become ‘registered relationships’, and are formed, and dissolved, by simply completing a form, in the same way that a pet or vehicle is registered.
Amid angry interruptions from the public gallery, which had to be cleared by security, the Attorney-General announced that the government would also amend existing surrogacy laws to prevent same-sex couples, singles, and unmarried heterosexual couples of less than two years standing, from 'acquiring babies.’
This is in direct contradiction to a campaign promise by LNP leader Campbell Newman.
Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) state director Wendy Francis welcoming the ban, said “There is a message to federal politicians currently subject to a propaganda war from gay activists that it is possible to resist the activists’ agenda.”
ACL leader Jim Wallace crowed that it was a victory for grassroots activism and ordinary Australians.
In fact the imported US brand of politically-active evangelical Christianity that Wallace's organisation represents has the support of a bare 1.1% of Australians, according to census figures just released.
The LNP swept to power in Queensland because of a corrupt and moribund Labor administration well past its use-by date, which ran up massive debts. Not because of a massive animus against gays and lesbians.
But Christian Lobby members, including ‘passionately religious’ president Bruce McGiver, hold key positions in the ruling party, which is generously funded by billionaire Catholic mining magnate Clive Palmer. They have spent years infiltrating and trying to take over the party.
Premier Newman denied there were any plans to amend more laws affecting the GLBTI community. But then he would say that, wouldn't he? The ACL have not yet told him what to do next.
Already there are signs of a split within the LNP, with saner elements beginning to query the obsession with gay issues.
The question now is, what can be done to encourage the LNP to implode in the shortest possible time, and return sane compassionate government to the Sunshine State?