Phoebe Manning and Laura Elkington, with Burger, were delighted with the passing of the Civil Partnerships Bill.
Phoebe Manning and Laura Elkington, with Burger, were delighted with the passing of the Civil Partnerships Bill. John Gass

Recognition for same-sex couples

A TALLEBUDGERA couple stayed up late on Wednesday to find out if their love was equal to that of everyone else.

Instead of watching movies Laura Elkington and Phoebe Manning were watching the Queensland Parliament pass the Civil Partnerships Bill.

The bill means they can enter into a civil union that would be recorded on the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Ms Elkington said she and her partner, who have been together for two-and-a-half years, were not expecting the bill to be passed.

"We were thinking in Queensland it's not going to go through so we were pretty stoked," she said.

"And it is pretty good timing considering it's about to come up at a federal level."

Ms Manning said the couple had started to plan their own unofficial wedding a year ago.

"We've had friends go to Canada to get married," she said.

"There is this thing where it's still okay to bag out gay people.

"(We'll have our ceremony) probably in April on Stradbroke Island with our motley crew of guests with a couple of boys who will be our bridesmaids."

She said there were still barriers facing gay people.

"For young people coming through if there's not that support it's really hard to come out, even within your own family," Ms Manning said.

"We've had friends bashed up. There needs to be more support and tolerance," Ms Elkington said she could not understand why people had opposed the bill.

"The biggest thing is acknowledgement that we are a couple," she said.

"It's a big deal because heterosexual couples have so much support."

Nearly three decades after homosexual activity was decriminalised in Queensland, the parliament officially passed the bill at 11.10pm on Wednesday by a margin of just seven votes.

The 47 votes for the bill were made up of 46 Labor MPs and independent member Peter Wellington.

LNP members voted against the bill. Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser said the bill was part of the fight against the discrimination experienced by same-sex couples.

"Today, Queensland's Parliament has voted to lift the shackles of discrimination for same-sex couples in this state," Mr Fraser said.

"It allows same-sex couples to celebrate their civil union with their families and friends through a public ceremony.

"It promotes equality for all Queenslanders, bringing Queensland into line with New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT."



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