1,000 turn out for civil unions protest
BRISBANE: An estimated 1,000 people gathered outside Queensland's Parliament last night (Wed May 30) to protest moves to repeal the state's Civil Union legislation and the de-funding of Healthy Communities HIV prevention organisation.
Labor MP Jackie Trad (pictured) told the crowd LNP Premier Campbell Newman was not following a policy agenda but a "political agenda".
"A political agenda that says that unless you are churchgoing, unless you are bible reading, unless you are straight, you do not belong in our world order," Trad said.
"Can I say to you, they have not been elected as pastors for their electorates, they have been elected representatives for their electorates."
Also under fire was Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg's decision to pull funding from community-based HIV initiative Healthy Communities and instead direct the $2.6 million to a new "ministerial advisory committee" on HIV.
Healthy Communities specifically targets gay men and its de-funding has been heavily criticised by the LGBTI community.
The president of the Queensland branch of the AMA, however, supported the move. Dr Richard Kidd told the press it was time for a "fresh approach" to HIV prevention strategies.
In related news, PFLAG Queensland have set up a new webform for people to voice their concerns over the possible repeal of civil unions.
Addressed to "Dear Liberal National Party MP" the form letter asks MPs not to repeal civil unions, concluding "Please show you govern on behalf of all Queenslanders by keeping the Civil Union Act intact."
The webform also includes a space for people to tell their own stories. The webform can be accessed here: http://www.pflagbrisbane.org.au/wp-content/uploads/civilunionsphp/index.php
Photo AAP: Dan Peled