Ballarat’s Koby Bunney yesterday showed his support for a gay Brisbane man whose application for a partnership visa was refused by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.
Ali Choudhry, who was due to be deported today to Pakistan, where he would be jailed for his sexuality, received a temporary reprieve after more than 120,000 people signed a petition that was handed into Mr Morrison’s Sydney office.
More than 40 people attended the rally in Melbourne, where Mr Bunney spoke.
Mr Bunney, who is running for Parliament in November’s state election, said sending Mr Choudhry back to Pakistan showed that the lack of equality between people of different sexuality has to be addressed.
“I think sending a man who is in a long-term relationship to a country where he would be prosecuted is not acceptable,” he said.
“He would be prosecuted, even though he has been in a legitimate long-term relationship for four years with a doctor.
“When it comes down to it, if they were in a heterosexual relationship he would have been granted a visa.”
Mr Choudhry and his partner, Brisbane neuroscientist Dr Matthew Hynd, were one of the first gay couples in Queensland to register their civil union in 2012.
Supporters of Mr Choudhry are hoping he will get the chance to stay in Australia and appeal the decision.