Tasmania’s failed same sex marriage bill will not affect Queensland according to the Very Reverend Peter Catt, the Dean of St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane.
The bill failed to pass the Upper House in Tasmania last month, losing by eight votes to six but the founder of A Progressive Christian Voice Australia (APCVA) believes Queensland has dealt with issues regarding same sex marriages through allowing civil partnerships.
“My understanding is this is purely through the Federal Government,” Mr Catt said. “It doesn’t affect Queensland because we’ve made a great move in allowing civil partnerships.”
Mr Catt also believed civil partnerships was a huge step forward for Queensland.
“It’s given people strength. People had to fight hard to prove they were in a relationship in the past.
“It has allowed people some mechanism to deal with these issues and gives them the respect and recognition as well as eliminates discrimination.”
Independent MP and representative of West Tamar Kerry Finch, who voted for the bill in Tasmania, said it was a very ‘trying’ piece of legislation with many MPs undecided on their vote.
“It was a very taxing four to six weeks,” Mr Finch said.
“I’m quite happy, I’m sleeping soundly, which is a measure that is was the appropriate decision.”
Mr Finch said there was a need for communities to be more inclusive and that the current marriage bill was hurtful to the LGBTI community.
“What we [Tasmania] need to do is eliminate those signals that suggest somebody is of lesser value than somebody else and that’s what this marriage represents,” Mr Finch said.
“I’d like to think we can be as inclusive as we possibly can.
“This is something that is a big signal for the LGBTI community that they see as hurtful to them and discriminatory.”
Mr Finch also said Tasmania would be observing what happens to New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory and he would not be surprised if another push for bill came in Tasmania again soon.
“They’re all preparing their own challenges to this, and their own establishment of legislation,” Mr Finch said.
“We were led to believe in briefings that they are actually looking very closely as the Tasmanian legislation that was proposed to be the template for what they were trying to introduce.”
Independent MP and representative for Apsley Tania Rattray, who voted against the bill, said the issue had divided the community.
“It is evident from the contact I have received prior to and following the debate that a resolution to the issue can only be achieved at the Federal level,” Mrs Rattray said.
“Additionally the division in our communities through this issue is very disappointing and most regretful and it is my express desire to see the supporters of SSM allow the matter to rest in order to facilitate a time for healing.”
Image: courtesy of Rachel Quilligan, used with permission.
Josh Dutton caught up with Independent MP Kerry Finch earlier in the week. To hear his interview click the link below.