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Queensland Labor and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer Policy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 August 2012

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Since the Australian Labor Party came to power in Queensland in 1989, social attitudes towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community have undergone significant change. In 1989, the decriminalisation of male-to-male homosexuality was the subject of intense debate, even within the ALP, which ultimately put forward the legislation. Today, policies have evolved considerably, with the Queensland ALP endorsing gay marriage and Anna Bligh, the current Queensland Labor Premier, releasing a YouTube video for the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign to give hope to LGBT youth experiencing harassment and perhaps contemplating suicide. During Labor's time in power, apart from the decriminalisation of male-to-male sexual activity, same-sex relationship laws have been reformed, altruistic surrogacy has been introduced and the presumption of lesbian parenthood has been extended. Some areas of LGBTIQ policy are still being contested, however, with debates surrounding civil unions, an equal age of consent and the existence of the ‘gay panic’ defence continuing. This article considers the progression and limits of these policies and areas of LGBTIQ reform that are still being disputed.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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