Queensland’s surrogacy laws are the next target of Christian lobby groups after the state government tweaked same-sex civil unions. FamilyVoice Queensland and The Australian Family Association (AFA) not only don’t agree with homosexuals being parents, they want surrogacy scrapped altogether after it was decriminalised in the state in 2010. “It is like a stick of dynamite, you just never know when it is going to go off and somebody is going to get hurt,” Geoffrey Bullock from FamilyVoice told AAP. “Children find it hard to find out who they are, their identity suffers.”
Premier Campbell Newman on Wednesday would not rule out changing the law to stop same-sex couples from being able to apply to be parents of surrogate children. Mr Newman says cabinet will soon discuss possible amendments to the Surrogacy Act, but won’t say what they are. “People are again playing Nostradamus,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Wednesday. “I just say we will come out and make decisions and tell people what we are doing when we’ve done the work.”
Mr Newman has publicly supported gay marriage but wouldn’t reveal on Wednesday whether he agrees with homosexuals being parents of surrogate children. His government on Tuesday shocked gay rights campaigners when it announced that it would not repeal civil union laws, which give gay and lesbian couples the right to register their civil union.
To satisfy the Christian lobby, however, same-sex couples will no longer have state-sanctioned ceremonies when taking their civil vows, quelling fears they emulated a wedding. Mr Newman called the decision “the best outcome for everyone” but on Wednesday some groups on both sides of the debate voiced their outrage.
The AFA, which defends the heterosexual marriage model, said the act must be fully repealed and anything less was a betrayal of voters’ trust. Spokeswoman Tempe Harvey says they’ll lobby hard. “Local MPs need to stand firm on repeal of this radical law that their constituents never voted for,” she said.
Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope said the removal of the ceremonial aspect reduced civil unions to a registration process and was an insult to gay and lesbian couples. “One of the fundamental aspects of marriage … is the public declaration of commitment before not only friends and family but the entire community,” he said.