Surrogate mothers, parents and lawyers have joined forces with LGBT community advocates to help fight planned changes to Queensland’s Surrogacy Act which would criminalise gay surrogacy arrangements.

An emergency community meeting was held in Brisbane last night to help kick-off a campaign to stop the changes, with not-for-profit association Surrogacy Australia alarmed by the Queensland government’s proposed amendments to the Surrogacy Act to exclude same-sex couples, singles and heterosexual de facto couples of less than two years.

The proposed changes will criminalise, by up to three years jail, any same-sex couples or singles who seek to be parents through an altruistic (non-commercial) surrogacy arrangement. The proposed legislation also intends to block access to recognition as parents on birth certificates for lesbian co-parents.

Queensland psychologist and LGBT community advocate Paul Martin said the new changes were unworkable and discriminatory meddling by the government in means of family formation.

“Taking away existing rights to a stigmatised minority will lead to increased levels of psychological stress for adults and their children,” he said.

“25 percent of same sex couples are currently raising children and their families need protection from further stigmatisation.”

Premier Campbell Newman claimed before the election that surrogacy laws would not be tampered with. However, Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie (pictured) said shortly after the announcement of reforms last week that Newman hadn’t been properly briefed on the plans.

“Over the whole 12-month period of the campaign I never at any stage had had any advice on the matter because it had been dealt with back in 2010,” Newman said yesterday.

“Frankly, the mistake was not understanding what my MPs had been discussing.”

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