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LGBT rights in Queensland


LGBT rights in Queensland

LGBT rights in Queensland
Queensland (Australia)
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1990
Gender identity/expression Protected under federal and state anti-discrimination law
Discrimination protections Yes (both state and federal law)
Family rights
Recognition of
Civil partnerships between February - June 2012; registered relationships thereafter
Same-sex marriage prohibited under federal law since 2004; see Same-sex marriage in Australia
Adoption No (Foster parenting allowed)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the Australian state of Queensland have only some of the same rights as heterosexual people.

Queensland has a reputation as

External links

  1. ^ Katherine Feeney (27 March 2012). "Social conservatism saw KAP beat Greens vote".  
  2. ^ Drew Sheldrick (26 June 2012). "Newman v gays: where else but Queensland?".  
  3. ^ Marissa Calligeros (21 May 2012). "Gay rights advocates question LNP's motives". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Daniel Hurst (20 June 2012). "Darling, will you register me?". Brisbane Times. Faifax Media. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Patrick Caruana (2 August 2012). "Qld scraps ‘gay panic' defence changes".  
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Carbery, Graham (2010). "Towards Homosexual Equality in Australian Criminal Law: A Brief History" (2nd ed.). Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives Inc. 
  7. ^ "Buggery" was the British term for sodomy or anal sex, while gross indecency referred to other sexual behaviour such as oral sex and mutual masturbation.[6]
  8. ^ Sonya Voumard (1 September 1989). "Gays march for reform of Qld laws". The Age (Fairfax Media). 
  9. ^ Sonya Voumard (1 September 1989). "Gays march for reform of Qld laws". The Age (Fairfax Media). 
  10. ^ Tony Fitzgerald (1989). Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct (Report). Queensland Government. p. 377.
  11. ^ Wanna, Jon; Arklay, Tracey (2010). "Chapter 16: The end of an era, 1987–1989". The Ayes Have it: the History of the Queensland Parliament, 1957-1989.  
  12. ^ Coaldrake, Peter (August 1990). "Australian Political Chronicle: July–December 1989". Australian Journal of Politics and History 36 (2): 243–248.  
  13. ^ Criminal Justice Commission (1990). Reforms in laws relating to homosexuality: an information paper (Report). Queensland Government.
  14. ^ Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) s 208
  15. ^ Patterson, C (1992). "Queensland - Years of Change". Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Review 1 (Autumn): 88.  
  16. ^ Drew Sheldrick (22 December 2011). "Push to tackle age of consent law". StarOnline.  
  17. ^ Bridie Jabour (16 May 2013). "Queensland out of step on age of consent laws". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. 
  18. ^ Agius, Kym (21 November 2014). "Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie considers expunging gay sex convictions". 
  19. ^ a b Butler, Nicole (22 April 2009). "Same sex couples in Queensland push for equal parental rights". ABC News. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  20. ^ Dennett, Harley. "Queensland considers relationship register". Sydney Star Observer. Retrieved 11 June 2008. 
  21. ^ Media Release. "New Poll Demonstrates Support for Further Gay Law Reforms in Queensland". Galaxy. Retrieved 5 March 2009. 
  22. ^ Daniel Hurst (26 October 2011). "Gay adoption a step too far for Bligh". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  23. ^ Koren Helbig and Steven Scott (26 October 2011). "Gay law a political stunt, says LNP".  
  24. ^ QLD civil unions bill passes first reading. Sydney Star Observer.
  25. ^ a b c Daniel Hurst (3 December 2011). "'"LNP civil unions stance 'in Bligh's hands. Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  26. ^ Kym Agius (1 December 2011). "Bligh asks ALP to support gay marriage". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  27. ^ Civil Partnerships Act 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  28. ^ Acts as passed in 2011. Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  29. ^ [1]
  30. ^ Daniel Hurst (30 November 2011). "Queensland's civil unions debate blow by blow". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  31. ^ Tim Leslie (16 March 2012). "Queensland Votes: Labor and LNP election policies". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  32. ^ "Sexuality and Gender Identity Policies".  
  33. ^ Sarah Elks (17 March 2012). "Unions withdraw their backing from 'homophobic' Katter party".  
  34. ^ "Newman to prioritise 'fair dinkum, normal' families". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  35. ^ Rosanne Barrett (12 March 2012). "LNP may repeal Queensland's gay civil union law". The Australian. News Limited. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  36. ^ Daniel Hurst (12 June 2012). "Civil unions to be amended: Newman". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  37. ^ a b Daniel Hurst (22 June 2012). "Gays face surrogacy ban as LNP pushes civil union changes". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "Civil Partnerships and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 Explanatory Notes". State of Queensland. 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  39. ^ a b Andrew McDonald and Kate McKenna (22 June 2012). "LNP plan to remove same-sex surrogacy rights after heated Parliamentary debate". Courier Mail. News Limited. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  40. ^ "Same sex couples". Legal Aid Queensland. Archived from the original on 12 August 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2008. 
  41. ^ Same-Sex: Same Entitlements: Summary of Recommendations. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  42. ^ "Bills introduced to the 53rd Parliament". The State of Queensland. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  43. ^ (1)(g)(ii)
  44. ^ Adoption Act 2009 (Qld) s 90(7)(b)(v)(A)
  45. ^ Adoption Act 2009 (Qld) s 92(1)(h)
  46. ^ "Foster parents set to win adoption rights". Brisbane Times. 1 August 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  47. ^ Heger, Ursula (7 August 2009). "Homosexuality not normal part of life, says MP Dorothy Pratt". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 15 August 2009. 
  48. ^ "'"Bligh's gay adoption stance 'confusing. ABC News Australia. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  49. ^ "Same-sex Parenting Presumption". Queensland Government. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  50. ^ "Surrogate Parenthood Act 1988". Austlii. Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  51. ^ Odgers, Rosemary (7 May 2008). "Surrogacy laws driving couples interstate". Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  52. ^ "Surrogacy ban under review". Queensland Pride. 7 May 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2008. 
  53. ^ Annie Guest (9 October 2008). "Queensland could allow surrogacy". ABC Australia. Retrieved 10 October 2008. 
  54. ^ "Current Consultation Activities: Surrogacy Bill 2009 and Exploratory Notes". Queensland Government. 29 October 2009. Archived from the original on 24 January 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  55. ^ Marszalek, Jessica (29 October 2009). "Qld to allow surrogacy from November". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  56. ^ Joal (12 November 2009). "Gay surrogacy for Queensland?". Same Same. Retrieved 18 November 2009. 
  57. ^ Odgers, Rosemary (11 February 2010). "Labor MPs to cross the floor on surrogacy Bill". Courier Mail. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  58. ^ Surrogacy Act 2010
  59. ^ Proclamation Subordinate Legislation 2010 No. 86 made under the Surrogacy Act 2010
  60. ^ Bridie Jabour (22 June 2012). "Newman 'not fully briefed' on LNP surrogacy policy: Bleijie". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  61. ^ Daniel Hurst (3 July 2012). "Surrogacy promise a 'mistake': Newman". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  62. ^ Stephanie Smail (28 June 2012). "Surrogacy advocates scramble after Newman's backflip". PM. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  63. ^ Bridie Jabour (27 March 2013). "Government shelves surrogacy ban plans". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  64. ^ "Sexuality Discrimination and Vilification". Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland. Retrieved 3 September 2007. 
  65. ^ Fair Work Act 2009
  66. ^ "Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994". Austlii. Retrieved 1 May 2008. 
  67. ^ "Human Rights Commission Act 1981". Austlii. Retrieved 1 May 2008. 
  68. ^ Australian Human Rights Commission
  69. ^ Blore, Kent (2012). "The Homosexual Advance Defence and the Campaign to Abolish it in Queensland: The Activist’s Dilemma and the Politician’s Paradox" 12 (2).  
  70. ^ a b Kristin Shorten (2 May 2013). "South Australian Greens introduce bill to abolish 'gay panic' defence". News Limited. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  71. ^ "A review of the excuse of accident and the defence of provocation". Queensland Law Reform Commission. September 2008. p. 396 (414 of PDF). Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  72. ^ a b  
  73. ^ Patrick Caruana (2 August 2012). "Qld scraps 'gay panic' defence changes".  


See also

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (since 1990 for males; always for females)
Equal age of consent No (16 years for oral and vaginal intercourse; 18 years for anal intercourse)
Anti-discrimination state laws for sexual orientation Yes
Anti-discrimination state laws for gender identity or expression Yes
Hate crime laws include sexual orientation No
Hate crime laws include gender identity or expression No
Recognition in state law of same-sex couples as domestic partners Yes
Step adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Access to IVF for lesbians Yes
Same-sex marriages No (federal jurisdiction)
MSMs allowed to donate blood No (Australia-wide)

Summary table

[73] Although the ALP Government flagged its intention to remove the defence, following the election of an LNP government in 2012, new Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie stated that no changes would be made.[72].Stephen Fry The petition was supported by British comedian [72] The use of this defence by two men who killed another man in 2008 in the grounds of St Mary's Catholic Church in

In Queensland, a person charged with the murder of a gay person can claim that he or she was provoked by a non-violent homosexual advance from the victim; this can act as a partial defence to murder and reduces the crime to manslaughter.[69] [70] As at 2014, the only other Australian state still allow this defence, to be used in common law like Queensland is South Australia.[70] A 2008 report by the Queensland Law Reform Commission on the topic of provocation stated "it is difficult to imagine how a non-violent sexual advance to a man by a woman could be regarded as justification for killing the person making the advance... in principle, gender should make no difference to the law’s conclusion".[71]

Homosexual Advance Defence

Federal law also protects LGBT and Intersex people in Queensland in the form of the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013.[68]

The Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994 provided that sexual conduct involving only consenting adults (18 years or over) acting in private would not be subject to arbitrary interference by law enforcement. This applies to any law of the Commonwealth, State or Territory.[66] As of August 2013, the Australian federal Commonwealth Government under law does provide protections for "marital or relationship status, sexual orientation, gender identityand/or intersex status" at the federal level at various levels that cover aged care, employment, health services, goods and services, accommodation, etc. in the Human Rights Commission Act 1981 (Commonwealth legislation).[67]

Australian federal Commonwealth Government under law does outlaw discrimination based on "marital or relationship status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or intersex status" at the federal level at various levels that cover aged care, employment, health services, goods and services, accommodation, etc. since August 2013. Federal employment protection does include "sexual orientation" in the federal Fair Work Act 2009.[65] However, in response to Australia's obligation to implement the principle of non-discrimination in employment and occupation pursuant to the International Labour Organisation Convention No.111 (ILO 111), the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) Act established the HREOC in 1986, and empowers it to investigate complaints of discrimination in employment and occupation on various grounds, including sexual orientation, and to resolve such complaints by conciliation. If it cannot be conciliated, the Commission prepares a report to the federal Attorney-General who then tables the report in Parliament. It is important to note that such discrimination is not rendered unlawful under the Act.

On 29 November 2002 Queensland Parliament passed the Discrimination Law Amendment Act 2002 which reformed a wide range of areas in the Queensland Ant-Discriminition Act 1991 such as couples (whether same sex or de facto), including transgender persons ("gender identity") and "sexuality" in protection under existing Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Vilification legislation. The areas covered are work and work related; education; goods and services; superannuation and insurance; disposal of land; accommodation; club membership; administration of state laws and programs; local government; existing partnership and in pre-partnership.[64]

A person who is in a same sex, spousal or intimate personal relationship is protected by the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 1989. So couples in same-sex relationships who are victims of relationship violence may take out domestic violence orders against a violent partner, and other protective measures, including counselling services.

Discrimination protections

During the 2012 election campaign, LNP leader Campbell Newman stated that the party would not change the new surrogacy laws if it won government. However, after the party attained government in 2012, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announced in Parliament that the LNP would amend Queensland's surrogacy legislation to exclude same-sex couples, singles and heterosexual de facto couples of less than two years' standing.[39] Bleijie claimed that Newman had not been "fully briefed" on the LNP's policy platform.[60] Newman later stated that his pre-election promise was a "mistake" given earlier misgivings expressed by LNP members, and that he was listening to the majority of members in his party.[61][62] Subsequently, moderates within the LNP had expressed concern about the proposal to remove surrogacy rights and it was quietly shelved, with Bleijie's announcement described by one colleague as a "brain snap".[63]

The Labor government's bill, which does not restrict who can enter into a surrogacy arrangement, was tabled in November and passed 45 to 36 on 11 February 2010 with seven not voting. The opposition's surrogacy bill was dismissed, and their amendments did not pass. The decriminalisation of altruistic surrogacy allows singles and couples to enter into surrogacy arrangements and to become the parent of a child. It remains illegal for Queensland residents to enter into commercial surrogacy arrangements anywhere in the world. The law took effect on 1 June 2010.[57][58][59]

In October 2009, Attorney-General Cameron Dick released for consultation draft laws to decriminalise altruistic surrogacy and put into place certain strict requirements, including satisfying the court they have undergone counselling, received independent legal advice and have established a medical or social need for the surrogacy. The draft Bill would not restrict who can enter into a surrogacy arrangement, meaning that a couple, either married or de facto (same-sex or heterosexual) or a single person (male or female) may be the intended parent or intended parents in a surrogacy arrangement and then subsequently apply for a parentage order.[54] The government will amend the law to recognise two mothers as parents.[55] The Liberal-National opposition party countered the Labor government's moves by introducing a bill that specifically excludes single parents and same-sex couples from any new surrogacy laws. Queensland’s Attorney General called the opposition's response "offensive".[56]

In May 2008, a parliamentary committee was formed to examine whether to decriminalise altruistic surrogacy in Queensland. Commercial surrogacy was immediately ruled out.[51][52] A parliamentary report recommended legalising surrogacy only as a last resort, and people must meet several criteria, including being medically infertile or unable to carry a child.[53]

The Surrogate Parenthood Act 1988, which commenced on 6 October 1988, prohibited all forms of surrogacy, formal and informal, paid and altruistic. All surrogacy contracts were deemed void and entering into an agreement (or offering to do so), as well as giving or receiving payment were prohibited. Any advertising in relation to surrogacy was also prohibited.[50] It became a criminal offence for a person ordinarily resident in Queensland to enter into a commercial surrogacy arrangement anywhere in the world.


Socially-infertile women (lesbians) are permitted access to in vitro fertilisation treatment in Queensland, and an amendment to the Status of Children Act 1978 now means that in some circumstances the female de facto partner of the birth mother is recognised as a parent. These circumstances are when the child has been born through the use of a fertilisation procedure (such as in vitro fertilisation, assisted insemination or self insemination) with the consent of the birth mother’s female de facto partner.[49]

Access to IVF

The state's adoption rules were revised in August 2009 with the Adoption Act 2009 which only allows opposite sex couples who are married or in a de facto relationship for two years to adopt.[42] The Act requires that applicants for both adoption[43][44] and stepparent adoption[45] be married or de facto and "the person’s spouse is not the same gender as the person" making the application. Although discriminatory, the Act specifies that the Anti-Discrimination Act is not to apply. One of the Act's key features is to allow foster parents to more easily adopt the child they are fostering. Phil Reeves, the state's minister for child safety, said, "Foster carers with children in their care for a long time - often from birth - frequently express a desire to adopt these children. It is only natural that a child in this situation often feels a true part of the family they have lived with long-term."[46] Same-sex foster parents are explicitly excluded from adopting their foster children. Independent (previously One Nation) MP Dorothy Pratt said, "I must say I was very pleased there was no allowance in this bill for homosexual couples to adopt a child."[47] Queensland Premier Anna Bligh's approach was described as "confusing" by the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties after she stated that "everyone - regardless of their sexual status or their gender - should be afforded the privileges of parenthood" in the context of surrogacy, but failed to apply this logic to adoption laws.[48]

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) issued a report in 2007 entitled National Inquiry into Discrimination against People in Same-Sex Relationships recommended amending or creating laws recognising the relationship between a child and both same-sex parents. In particular, "‘Stepparent adoption’ laws should more readily consider adoption by a lesbian co-mother or gay co-father." This will require amendments to remove the prohibition on same-sex stepparent adoption in all state and territory laws other than in WA, the ACT and Tasmania." The final report of the Same-Sex: Same Entitlements Inquiry was tabled in Parliament on 21 June 2007.[41]

Same-sex couples in Queensland lack many adoption or other parenting rights. Same-sex couples cannot legally adopt a child, but they may become foster parents.[40]

Adoption and foster parenting

Adoption and parenting rights

Apart from renaming the legislation to the Relationships Act 2011, other changes included: replacing civil partnerships with "registered relationships"; amending the termination procedure, so that instead of seeking a court order from the District Court, an application would be lodged with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, thereby reducing the similarities with obtaining a divorce; and repealing the option of state-sanctioned ceremonies.[38][39]

On 22 June 2012 the Civil Partnerships and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 was passed by a 69-8 vote,[37] amending the Civil Partnerships Act with effect from 27 June 2012. All LNP members voted as a bloc to amend the law. They were opposed by the six present ALP members, and Peter Wellington. Liz Cunningham also voted against the bill as she wanted a full repeal of the law, while the two Katter's Australian Party members, who shared her position, abstained.[37]

On 12 June 2012, Premier Newman and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announced that the legislation would be amended to remove aspects that "mimcked marriage", such as the option of an official ceremony, to avoid offending conservative religious groups.[36]

Before the LNP took office, party leader Campbell Newman stated that repealing the laws after couples had already entered into civil partnerships would create an "unacceptable and intolerable situation", and so promised to do nothing.[25] He later stated that the party would repeal the law.[34][35]

The 2012 state election was held soon after civil partnerships became available, with differing policy approaches offered by parties. The Australian Labor Party and Queensland Greens supported retaining them without changes.[31][32] Katter's Australian Party proposed a full repeal of the civil partnership law, and were criticised for a homophobic advertisement attacking Campbell Newman for his personal support for same-sex marriage.[33]

Registered relationships under LNP

The Civil Partnerships Bill 2011 was introduced into Parliament on 25 October 2011 and passed its first reading on a 46-30 vote.[24] On 30 November 2011, it passed its second and third reading on a 47-40 vote. Members of the then-governing Australian Labor Party were granted a conscience vote. Most voted in favour, except for Michael Choi, Geoff Wilson, Margaret Keech and Jo-Ann Miller.[25] LNP members were denied a conscience vote and voted as a bloc against it.[26] They were joined in opposition by most of the cross-bench, except for Peter Wellington.[25] The bill passed and was granted royal assent on 6 December 2011, becoming an Act (number 46)[27][28] The law commenced operation on 23 February 2012.[29] The legislation aligned Queensland with Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and NSW, which had already made similar reforms.[30]

However, no progress was made on the issue until late 2011. On 21 October 2011, Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser announced that he would introduce a private member's bill to legalise civil partnerships, which would allow same-sex relationships to be officially registered in Queensland and would allow the option of an official ceremony. Similarly to the existing recognition of same-sex couples as de facto partners, civil partnerships would provide most of the rights of marriage, excluding adoption rights.[22] Fraser was criticised by the then-Opposition LNP, who claimed his bill was a "political stunt" designed to win Greens preferences in his electorate of Mt Cootha.[23]

In June 2008, Queensland Attorney-General Kerry Shine announced that the Queensland Government would begin considering a relationships registry for same-sex couples in the second half of 2008.[20] A Galaxy poll conducted in December 2008 showed 60 percent of people in Queensland supported civil unions with 54 percent supporting gay marriage.[21]

Civil partnerships under Labor

Same-sex marriages are currently not permitted under Australian federal law. Since 2004, the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 has defined marriage as "the union between a man and a woman". In addition, Australian law expressly declares that unions between same-sex couples entered into outside the country are not to be recognised as marriage in Australia.

While the changes in Commonwealth legislation in 2008 provided complete recognition of same-sex couples at the federal level, Queensland laws are now contradictory, particularly when children are involved. With the federal legislation, the non-biological parent can now be made to pay child maintenance. However in Queensland, that same person who has to pay child maintenance is not even recognised as a parent. Without some sort of legal guardianship, health services may not accept the other parent authorising procedures for the child. If the biological parent dies, his or her partner would not be considered the next of kin.[19]

In December 2002, with the passing of the Discrimination Law Amendment Act 2002, the definition of "de facto partner" was amended to include same-sex couples. Thus, same-sex partners are now recognised in 61 pieces of legislation, including superannuation entitlements, workers compensation, etc. Amendments were also made to the Property Law Amendment Act to recognize same-sex partners in regard to the distribution of property in the event of a separation. Queensland's Industrial Relations Act 1999 gives same-sex couples access to state-based parental, family, bereavement and carer’s leave provisions. The Equal Opportunity in Public Employment Act 1992 and the Public Service Act 2008 promotes equality of employment in the public sector. Furthermore, if a gay or lesbian couple came to Queensland from another state where they were recognised, Queensland will recognise them as a couple.[19]

De facto recognition

Recognition of same-sex relationships

Following moves by South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales to expunge the criminal records of men who had been convicted of conduct that was subsequently decriminalised, Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie announced he would have an "open mind" to reviewing the law following discussions with LGBTI Legal Service.[18]

Historical convictions

Queensland is the only state or territory in Australia which does not have a truly equal age of consent.[16][17]

Goss' government largely implemented the changes in the Criminal Code and Another Act Amendment Act 1990, which was passed by the parliament on 29 November 1990.[6] However, a truly equal age of consent was not implemented. Queensland’s age of consent is 16 for oral and vaginal sex. By contrast, anal intercourse, or "sodomy", involving any person aged under 18, whether male or female, is a criminal offence, punishable with up to 14 years imprisonment.[14] Patterson described this as a "pragmatic political response" to the objections of religious lobby groups, who largely equated homosexuality with sodomy.[15]

Following its victory, the new ALP Government led by Wayne Goss commissioned the recommended review into the legal status homosexuality. That review recommended that homosexual offences be removed from the state's Criminal Code and that the age of consent for private consensual conduct be 16 years for both homosexual and heterosexual conduct.[13]

This proposal was an issue in the 1989 state election. National Party leader Russell Cooper, whose party was heavily implicated in corruption by the Fitzgerald Inquiry, tried to galvanise socially conservative support using his party's opposition to the legalisation of homosexual conduct. During the election campaign he claimed that his party's corruption was a "secondary issue" to moral issues like abortion and homosexuality, adding that the then-Opposition ALP's policy of decriminalisation would send a "flood of gays crossing the border from the Southern states".[11] These advertisements were satirised by Labor ads depicting Cooper as a wild-eyed reactionary and a clone of Bjelke-Petersen and/or a puppet of Nationals party president Sir Robert Sparkes.[12] Cooper's party was defeated in the election.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry began in the late 1980s following allegations of corruption and misconduct in the Queensland Police, which subsequently investigated the entire system of government. One of its recommendations was that a newly established Criminal Justice Commission review the laws governing voluntary sexual behaviour, including homosexual activity.[10]

Legalisation under Goss

The first major public demonstration in favour of decriminalisation occurred on 31 August 1989, when several hundred people demonstrated outside Parliament House in Brisbane.[6][8] The protests arose after give men from Roma were charged with a variety of anti-homosexuality offences. At the time the maximum penalty for "sodomy" was seven years in jail.[9] At the time, opinion polls published by The Bulletin suggested that while a majority of Queenslanders did not support equal rights for gay people, they thought that private homosexual conduct between consenting adults should be decriminalised.[6]

As with other British colonies, Queensland originally derived its criminal law of the United Kingdom. This included the prohibition of [6] The anti-homosexuality laws were enforced by police throughout the 1980s, including against men who were in same-sex relationships and were not aware that their private conduct was illegal.[6]

Historical criminalisation

Although lesbianism was never criminalised in Queensland, males engaging in sexual activity with each other, including private consensual sex, risked imprisonment until the late 1980s.[6] Following the election of a new ALP government led by Wayne Goss, private sex between consenting males was legalised in 1990.

Laws regarding homosexuality


  • Laws regarding homosexuality 1
    • Historical criminalisation 1.1
    • Legalisation under Goss 1.2
    • Historical convictions 1.3
  • Recognition of same-sex relationships 2
    • De facto recognition 2.1
    • Civil partnerships under Labor 2.2
    • Registered relationships under LNP 2.3
  • Adoption and parenting rights 3
    • Adoption and foster parenting 3.1
    • Access to IVF 3.2
    • Surrogacy 3.3
  • Discrimination protections 4
    • Homosexual Advance Defence 4.1
  • Summary table 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

[5] from the state's criminal panic defence and refusing to remove the [4] downgrading civil partnerships to a "registered relationships" scheme;[3]

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