Here is an edited extract of what Michael Crandon (LNP, Coomera) told Queensland's Parliament about the proposal to change civil union laws: (emphasis added):
I am a Christian and I have friends in the gay community. I have spoken to people in the gay community about their true beliefs. As was brought to the attention of the House by the Minister for Health, not all people on all sides of this debate believe the same things.
Some people are interested in one thing only—and this is the perspective that I want to come from. The
perspective I want to come from is people’s rights. What are their rights?
A dear friend of mine passed away some 18 months ago. Jim and his partner—a same-sex
couple—were passionate about one another. They were lovely, lovely people. Jim passed away quite
unexpectedly. Fortunately for Jim’s partner, the rest of his family understood their relationship and did
not create any problems for him in relation to the estate and the estate passing to him. He was one of
the fortunate ones.
My background is 22 years in financial planning and I can assure the House that in that time—and
the Leader of the Opposition may think it is funny to be talking about these serious matters; by all means
laugh if you like—I saw many cases where not only same-sex couples but people who were living
together in a male and female relationship were denied their entitlements on the unexpected death of
their partner because the rest of the family vehemently disagreed with their relationship. All sorts of
stories would come out—‘No, she was his housekeeper,’ ‘No, they were two bachelors, just good
friends.’ Whatever else, the story was about money. That is all it was about. It was the money that the
family saw themselves losing because of this relationship that was a bona fide, genuine, loving
relationship between two people.
The position I am coming from with this is that we are not talking about whether or not we want to
mimic marriage here. As a Christian, I am against that concept of mimicking a marriage....
I am not against people having the right to pass their assets from one to the other or to deal with the individual who is in some sort of a serious health situation—in a coma, in a hospital—and be regarded as the individual that is thought of as their partner, as their next of kin. That is the position I am coming from.
I ask all of those people who purport to be Christians out there in the marketplace and who have
been making noise about this issue to think about the people who it really affects. The people that this
legislation really affects are those same-sex couples and indeed partners—whether they are male and
female partners as well—who have the opportunity now to come to a court and to register, if you like,
their interest in one another, to formally register, to legally register—...
I simply want to take the opportunity to ask all Queenslanders and all of our society to understand that
there are different views taken by different people in our community but that at the end of the day there
are loving, genuine relationships out there, whether they are between a man and a woman or whether they are same-sex relationships, that deserve the financial protection, and those people deserve the opportunity to be regarded as the next of kin in an emergency health situation. Those people are the ones and the only ones at the end of the day who are affected by this legislation—hence the reason this government has done the right thing in retaining this legislation on the books and, if you like, has appreciated the attitudes of some people, me included, who do not agree with the concept of marriage by simply taking that aspect out of the bill and allowing those people to have the opportunity to deal with one another’s life needs in a health situation or financial situation. I commend the bill to the House.