Queensland psychologists and gay rights advocates have slammed a bid to repeal the state’s new Civil Partnerships Act by Independent Queensland MP Rob Messenger.

Messenger uploaded a draft of his Civil Partnerships Repeal Bill to his website yesterday and challenged Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Campbell Newman to allow his party’s members a conscience vote on the legislation.

Paul Martin, a principal psychologist from the Centre for Human Potential, who specialises in counselling gays and lesbians, said research indicates that official recognition of same-sex relationships has a profound positive impact on the psychological wellbeing of the gay and lesbian community.

“When the Civil Union Bill passed, same-sex attracted Queenslanders finally had a sense that they are valued and their relationships validated,” Martin said.

“If Mr Messenger is successful, and the legislation is repealed, this will send a powerful message to many vulnerable people that their relationships are worthless.

“The mental health statistics for gays and lesbians are bad enough already without the repeal of this law confirming the myth that they are incapable of having healthy relationships.”

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) national spokeswoman Shelley Argent said the attempt to repeal the legislation made no sense.

“Everybody was given a conscience vote when the Civil Unions Bill was passed, including Mr Messenger, and the LNP chose to vote as a bloc against it,” she said.

“Nobody has been affected negatively as a result of this legislation going through so there is no reason to change it.”

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