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Electoral showdown over gay rights in Queensl -

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Electoral showdown over gay rights in Queensland

Annie Guest reported this story on Friday, February 12, 2010 12:28:00

ASHLEY HALL: Religious and family groups are promising they'll mount a furious campaign at the next
election against the Labor Party in Queensland over what they're calling legislative child abuse.
They're upset by new laws which allow gay and single people to use surrogate mothers.

The laws were passing in the State Parliament last night after almost 20 hours of bitter, divisive
and emotional debate in which the major parties accusing each other of social engineering.

The legislation takes Queensland's surrogacy laws from the most conservative to among the most
liberal in Australia.

The Family Council of Queensland says the Government snuck its plan onto the legislative agenda at
Christmas.

The Council's Dr David van Gend spoke to The World Today's Annie Guest.

DAVID VAN GEND: We have told the Labor Party that this is something for which family groups will go
to the barricades. This is an assault on the deepest relationship between a mother and child. It is
to trample on the rights of a child to have at least the chance of a mum and a dad in its life and
not just have one bloke or two blokes or a single woman as its parents.

And so on this we will be targeting every marginal seat in Queensland at the next state election
which voted for this hideous bill.

ANNIE GUEST: You talk about going to the barricades and running in marginal seats. Do your
supporters put their money where their mouths are? Is there enough financial support to do so?

DAVID VAN GEND: That's right. It's going to be an expensive exercise but these are some of the rare
occasions when we have to do it.

People have no idea the cultural implications of the state decreeing that a man and another man or
just a man on his own is identical in law to a mother and father from a child's perspective.

ANNIE GUEST: Is it possible though that the Queensland Parliament was reflecting community views
and that your campaign may not be a vote changer?

DAVID VAN GEND: We know from a Galaxy poll only a month or two back that 87 per cent of Australians
consider that yes, a child should have a mother and a father to be brought up with in every,
wherever possible.

ANNIE GUEST: So you think it would be a vote changer at the next state election?

DAVID VAN GEND: Quite right. If the public knew about it, and we will ensure they know as best we
can, then of course it will be a vote changer.

This bill was snuck through without public awareness. It was tabled just before Christmas on the
last day of sittings and it was debated and voted on the second day of the new year and hardly
anyone knew it was happening.

When people realise the depth of, you know, social reconstruction that has gone on in this bill and
they know that the Government has seen fit to repeal nature, repeal biology in favour of some
curious social agenda that says a mum and a dad just don't matter to a child, I don't think they'll
be impressed with that.

ASHLEY HALL: The Family Council of Queensland's Dr David van Gend speaking to Annie Guest in
Brisbane.