A Queensland parliamentary committee has recommended allowing same-sex civil unions in the state.

The ALP-dominated committee today released a report with the recommendation on Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser’s private member’s bill. The bill would allow couples to formally register their relationship as a civil partnership regardless of gender.

Two Liberal National Party (LNP) members of the committee and an independent rejected Fraser’s proposal.

“Next week, Queensland MPs will have the opportunity to vote with their conscience on this matter,” Fraser said in a statement welcoming the report.

“It’s sad that Campbell Newman, not an elected Member of Parliament, is dictating how the LNP should vote.

“What is he afraid of? If he’s so sure his MPs are against the bill, why won’t he let them vote with their conscience?”

Fraser said it was his belief that when it comes to legislative matters regarding questions of fundamental human rights, it’s the right and the duty of individual MPs to vote with their own conscience.

“That’s what we are elected to do, that’s what the Labor Members of Parliament will do, and that’s what the elected members of the LNP should do.”

The committee report stated they had received 2195 submissions in support of the civil unions bill and 537 opposed.

The bill is expected to be debated and voted on in Parliament next week.

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