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Same-sex civil unions return to Queensland- "Thank you for returning our dignity."

The Queensland Government has restored same-sex civil unions tonight just three years after they were initially scrapped.

Almost half of the LNP MP’s voted to restore the civil partnerships, in a move that the Palaszczuk Government hopes will bring the country one step closer to marriage equality.

The bill was passed 69 votes to 22, with former Attorney-General and key player in the Newman Government’s scrapping of civil partnerships, Jarrod Bleijie, crossing the floor to support the bill.

<> at XXX on February 13, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. Labour looks to form minority Government as all 89 seats are declared at the 2015 Queensland Election (please change this as relevant to what you shoot.)
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (Image: Getty)

According to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk the move is an encouraging one, and compels the MP’s to think about who the legislation affects, and how it will matter in generations to come.

“Think about the opportunities and choices you want for your children and grandchildren,” she said.

“Think about whether you would want these opportunities and choices to be available to them should they fall in love with someone of the same sex.”

According to 9 News, Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath, who introduced the amendment, said the Newman government’s actions in March 2012 “caused real hurt” to the people of Queensland.

“Let’s hope that this time it’s here to stay,” she said.

The Newman government rushed through legal changes to remove civil partnership ceremonies within three months of forming government in March 2012.

Instead, couples could only register their relationships with Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Shadow attorney-general Ian Walker, who supported the bill, said he was happy that MP’s were given a free vote.


He said he voted to remove civil partnerships back in 2012 because he believed the legislation was rushed through. Watch the latest video urging Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to support marriage equality. (Post continues after video).

Video via All Out

The partnerships legal restoration today drew cheers and applause from the public gallery in the Queensland parliament, with one supporter declaring: “Thank you for restoring our dignity”.

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg was one of 20 LNP MPs who, along with  MPs Rob Katter and Shane Knuth, voted against the changes. Such a decision seeks to put pressure on the federal government, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a supporter of gay marriage, promising a plebiscite on the issue after the next federal election.

At this stage, the only other Australian state or territory to offer state-sanctioned civil partnership ceremonies for same-sex couples is the ACT, which legislated the unions in 2012.