Queensland priest Father Paul Kelly, who led an online uprising against the state’s much-derided “gay panic” defence, has relaunched his campaign and is vowing to keep fighting until Queensland Premier Campbell Newman drops the “archaic and discriminatory” law.
Kelly’s original campaign attracted more than 26,000 signatures along with notable public supporters, including British actor and comedian Stephen Fry.
He decided to relaunch the campaign after Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie made remarks that changes to the law were unnecessary and he was unlikely to act on the issue.
The Change.org petition received major media coverage in January and the Bligh government agreed to change the law. However, the Criminal Code was not amended before the Labor government lost the 2012 state poll.
Prior to the election, then Opposition Leader Campbell Newman said overturning the law was “certainly worthy of sensible consideration and we will look at it”.
Following Bleijie’s most recent comments, Kelly said he believes that the more conservative members of the Liberal National Party (LNP) have seized control of the government.
“Sadly, it appears that the more extreme elements of the LNP have hijacked the party’s position on reforming this archaic law,” he said.
“I’m utterly appalled that a law that so revoltingly and openly discriminates against gay people is still tolerated in a modern society.”
Since the campaign was relaunched, more than 2,000 people have added their names to the petition, taking the tally to currently above 29,000.
Kelly is aiming for 40,000 signatures and he’s pledged to personally deliver the petition to the premier if necessary.
Change.org campaign director Karen Skinner said that Kelly’s campaign was the biggest Queensland petition hosted on Change.org and one of the largest nationwide.
You can sign the petition here.