Rival bill allows Australian wedding providers to refuse gay couples

Nov 15, 2017, 00:43
Rival bill allows Australian wedding providers to refuse gay couples

Backed by his conservative colleagues, Senator Paterson released a Private Members Bill on Monday that he argues contains greater religious protections than the one put forward months ago by Liberal colleague Dean Smith.

"At the end of the day, we are in support of getting a bill through parliament that will mean we can have marriage equality", Greens senator Janet Rice said.

Tiernan Brady, the director of Australian Marriage Equality, told HuffPost Australia last week the religious freedoms argument ran counter-intuitive to the idea of having a vote for marriage equality.

It also includes exemptions so religious organisations can refuse to conduct same-sex marriages.

In response to concerns over the controversial Safe Schools program, the bill would also allow parents to pull their children out of classes where they "genuinely believe" their kids are being taught a view of marriage inconsistent with their own.

Ultimately it was up to parliament to decide which bill was the "vehicle to facilitate" the parliamentary debate.

The debate on the Smith bill is expected to start on Thursday and carry through to the next parliamentary sitting week, beginning in late November.

An Australian Senator has released a rival same-sex marriage bill that could see a number of anti-discrimination laws overturned.

Before announcing the postal survey, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged that if the result in the postal survey was a yes, then he'd seek to introduce legislation to legalise same-sex marriage by Christmas.

"I don't believe Australians would welcome - and certainly the government would not countenance - making legal discrimination that is illegal, that is unlawful today", Mr Turnbull said.

MPs from all parties will be able to propose amendments to that bill, but crucially, there will be no cabinet or party room position dictating how people vote.

"What you have is a young fogie being led astray by some old fogies".

"Australians are voting to make our country a fairer and more equal place, not to take us back to a time where people can be denied service at a shop", said Anna Brown, cochair of the Equality Campaign.

"This is just another attempt to delay passing marriage equality".

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