Senate poised to act on same-sex marriage

Pauline Gross
November 15, 2017

While the proposed bill, sponsored by Liberal senator James Paterson, would legalise same-sex marriage, a number of attached exemptions would give wedding service providers, such as bakers and florists, the right to refuse gay couples.

However, this vote is nonbinding, which means it is up to the country's Parliament to pass legislation.

"The government does not, would not countenance making legal discrimination that is illegal", Turnbull told reporters.

WA Liberal MP Ian Goodenough said a dozen conservatives were working on an alternative Bill, which he claimed would offer more protections for Australians who do not support same-sex marriage.

Senator Paterson believes state and federal anti-discrimination laws aren't strong enough.

Brady, an Irish citizen, said he saw echoes of the historical discrimination against his own people in the religious freedoms push.

"If the result of the vote is Yes, we want protections for parents, protections for religious institutions and charities to be free to express contrary views without being held to account by discrimination laws", Mr Goodenough said.

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"But also, we should respect another human right and that is freedom of religious belief", he said.

"It was part of the journey in Ireland [during the referendum on marriage equality], the issue of freedom to discriminate against people, but that debate lasted a couple of hours because Irish people remember what those signs look like".

No notice has yet been given for the Paterson bill.

The good news is that the turnaround time for the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey is going to be quite fast.

"Australia's anti-discrimination laws were amended in 2013 to enact important protections for LGBTI people in recognition of the unacceptable levels of discrimination". Liberal senator Dean Smith, who has authored a bill which would legislate marriage equality, has asked Parliament to begin the debate on Thursday.

An even more draconian bill written Monday by Sen.

"If it's legally and morally wrong to discriminate against one gay person, I don't know how it becomes right to discriminate against two", Brandis said. "Are we really saying, in Australia today, that you can refuse to serve someone because they're gay?"

Other reports by GizPress

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