Last night, the Civil Righ... um, I mean the Civil Union / Partnership Bill was passed 47-40.
Considering we thought we'd win or lose by 1, that's an incredibly good result. And it's finally through!
You'll have to excuse how insane we look in the photo above; after nearly 5 hours of debating, I wanted to stab myself in the eye, and Matt wanted to stab... well, everyone who voted against the bill.
When the result of the division was announced (that we'd won), everyone in the public gallery (expect for a... *ahem* "select few") jumped to their feet, cheering and applauding. Then the Speaker got all huffy and "I'll chuck you out if you're not quiet".
BUT WE WON.
We'd like to thank the MPs who supported the bill, despite perhaps being flooded with emails from those against it and, indeed, being threatened if they did support it. Anyone who turned up on the day either to rally or to sit in the gallery in support of the bill; thank you. We'd also like to thank everyone who signed petitions, called their local member, or even just retweeted / reposted a petition (or one of our posts!) to make it available to other people to support the bill.
Speaking of which, I'd like to extend thanks to The Dilettante. Along with writing those posts, Matt has been tirelessly campaigning for the last week or so, calling up MPs, emailing friends and family, and flooding twitter with messages of support and letting people know how they can help the cause.
So, my darling Matthew, the biggest "thank you" goes to you. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love and admire you :)
There will be those who say that this is a poor substitute for marriage and it's still unfair, but the passing of this bill has told the Government, Queenslanders, Australians, and certain special interest groups that we are here, and we're always going to be here, and we deserve the same rights (and responsibilities) afforded to all Australians. We will continue to fight for marriage equality, but, though the war is not over, this battle is at last won.
Update from The Dilettante 03 February 2012:
Shortly after the Labor party managed to achieve the wonderful result above, we received some bad news. We are having a State Government Election in Queensland on March 24, 2012.
Sadly, the opposing political party, the Liberal and National Party (who is predicted by almost all people in-the-know to win this election) has stated that if they are successful in winning this election, they will repeal this Bill, and make Civil Unions illegal again, provided no one has had one (and even then, I am not conviced that they still won't make it illegal). At this stage, the necessary arrangements to allow people to have a Civil Union are still not complete, so it's been impossible for someone to have one.
Please don't give up - please keep writing and making your opinion heard, and thinking of us. We continue to need your support, and will need your support even more if the Liberal and National Party wins the upcoming Election and undoes all of the hard work that was undertaken to achieve this victory.