Close to 2000 people took to the streets of Brisbane’s CBD last night to protest the de-funding of the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC) and the threat to roll back the state’s civil union laws.
Organised by Equal Love, protesters marched from Brisbane’s King George Square to state Parliament, in one of the largest LGBT rallies Queensland has seen.
Speakers at Parliament House included couples in civil unions, supporters of QAHC and South Brisbane Labor MP Jackie Trad.
“This is not a policy agenda, this is a political agenda,” Trad said.
“A political agenda that says that unless you are churchgoing, unless you are bible reading, unless you are straight, you do not belong in our world order.”
Just hours before the protest, Queensland health minister Lawrence Springborg announced that nominations were now open for the Ministerial Advisory Committee which is set to advise on future HIV/AIDS funding in the state.
“The committee would provide independent advice to me on HIV prevention and awareness in Queensland,” Springborg said.
“It will also be responsible for advising me on how best to allocate the HIV/AIDS budget to future to minimise HIV transmission.”
Members nominated to sit on the advisory committee will be tasked with providing advice and representing the issues of specific target populations, other stakeholder groups or an expert area, including people living with HIV; gay men and men who engage in high risk behaviours; and public health practitioners with experience in HIV prevention.
Those selected will be nominated for a three-year term, commencing July 1 this year.