Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Rival bill allows Australian wedding providers to refuse gay couples

Rival bill allows Australian wedding providers to refuse gay couples

Attorney General George Brandis, a marriage equality advocate, rejected exempting gay marriage from anti-discrimination laws.

Sen. Dean Smith, a member of the ruling Liberal Party (which is actually conservative), drafted a bill with bipartisan support that would give religious officials the power to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

The Paterson bill is expected to enjoy substantial support from that quarter as it implements demands from Tony Abbott, Matt Canavan, Michael Sukkar, Zed Seselja, Andrew Hastie, Eric Abetz and Kevin Andrews.

The Senator from Victoria said his bill would allow any Australian to declare that they would not participate in a same-sex wedding if it violated their religious beliefs.

"If the Australian people do vote yes, they're not going to look kindly on the same group of people who have urged a "no" vote not accepting the outcome and trying to delay further", she said. The one time you're called to actually vote in line with the wishes of the Australian re The 7 electorate and you wuss out.

A majority yes vote will see a private members' bill be introduced in parliament to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia, Malcolm Turnbull said in October.

Mr Turnbull, a supporter of same-sex marriage, said any bill that allowed businesses to deny services for a gay wedding "would have virtually no prospect of getting through the Parliament".

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The Paterson bill, would also include a clause which would allow government employees the right to refuse to register a same-sex marriage, while parents will be able to remove their child from a class if the content taught contradicts their beliefs.

"There will be a debate about how wide the exemptions would be, some would have them narrowly cast and some more broadly cast".

Eight in 10 Australians have had their say in the government survey.

It is unclear when Senator Paterson will introduce his bill into the Upper House for debate or whether he will use the plan as the basis for amendments to Senator Smith's version. It permits ministers of religion and religious marriage celebrants to refuse to solemnise a marriage and it allows bodies established for religious purposes to refuse to provide goods or services for the purposes of the solemnisation of a marriage, ' Ms McLeod said.

"There will no doubt be plenty of amendments the end of it they will come to a conclusion on an amended bill".

Ahead of the postal survey result announcement at 10am on Wednesday, the pro-change push cleared a crucial hurdle on Tuesday when Dean Smith's bill won support from senators from the Liberal Party, Labor, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Party, and independent Derryn Hinch.

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