EQUAL RIGHTS: Former Rockhampton high school student Erin Dunne supports gay marriage.
EQUAL RIGHTS: Former Rockhampton high school student Erin Dunne supports gay marriage. Contributed

Same-sex bill in Qld parliament

ERIN Dunne is like most people who dream of one day marrying their soul mate.

The 21-year-old former Rockhampton student from The Cathedral College was only 17 when she "came out" to family and friends.

Erin said while she wasn't ready to get married yet, she was in a long-term relationship with her girlfriend and hoped to get hitched one day.

She is a staunch supporter of the Australian Marriage Equality campaign, which saw members lobby Federal MPs in Canberra earlier this month.

Yesterday Queensland Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser introduced a bill to legalise same-sex civil unions.

The Civil Partnerships Bill will acknowledge the relationship rights of gay and lesbian couples.

Raised on a Duaringa cattle property, Erin said same-sex marriage was something she and her family believed in.

Premier Anna Bligh said the government was "proud to stand for equal rights" and couples should not be denied the opportunity to publicly celebrate their love.

She said Labor MPs would have a conscience vote, but said the matter received "very enthusiastic support" by caucus on Monday.

"I'm sure there will be some members of the Labor Party who will be examining their conscience and may take a different view than I do, but I would be surprised if we don't see an overwhelming majority of Labor members support the bill," Ms Bligh said.

Liberal National Party Leader Campbell Newman, who supports gay marriage but not a change in the law, hasn't revealed if he'll approve a conscience vote.

But Mr Fraser said there was no time like the present to act on matters of morality.

In a parliamentary speech that received applause from the public gallery, Mr Fraser said relationships gave meaning to life.

"Despite the wishes or ignorance of some, whether blissful or baleful, humans have been loving each other in many different ways for centuries," he said.

"We should, in a civil society, not live in a fiction through our laws.

"Our laws should accept the truth of human relationships."

Erin said those who condemned same-sex unions could be affecting teenagers who were struggling with their sexuality.


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