Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Postal survey results: decision day arrives for same-sex marriage in Australia

David Gray  Reuters                       A marcher holds aloft a sign while participating in a marriage equality march in central Sydney Australia David Gray Reuters A marcher holds aloft a sign while participating in a marriage equality march in central Sydney Australia
Howard Terry | 15 November, 2017, 00:38

The proposal has already been rejected by Turnbull, who said yesterday while still overseas that "I don't believe Australians would welcome, and certainly the government ... would not countenance making legal, discrimination that is illegal, that is unlawful today".

When do we get to find out which way Australians voted? "If the answer is yes, then anyone who wants to turn around and say "we should pass a law that discriminates against LGBTI people" is doing the opposite of what the people have just said", he said.

"After the result is known on Wednesday, it is my intention to canvass support to introduce a Bill this week".

"There won't be a government position, there won't be a party position", Senator Cormann said.

Debate would start on Thursday morning, the Senate's usual time for considering private bills.

Well, the Senate could begin debating it as early as tomorrow. The legislation allows clergy and religious organisations to refuse to marry gay couples.

"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.

"The Dean Smith Bill covers who could marry, and could refuse to marry".

Senator Paterson said he was a supporter of same sex marriage but also believed there was a need for religious freedoms to be protected. "In the future, could they be taken to court?"

"It allows a minister of religion to refuse to solemnise a marriage due to religious views and creates extra protections for existing civil celebrants".

The Smith bill, or the rival legislation proposed by Senator Paterson, would be subject to a series of conscience votes on both sides, requiring a majority from the collective pool of Coalition, Labor and Greens MPs.

"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".

"There is no apology for the fact that the Bill does not address free speech or parental rights - because it's a Bill about marriage equality".

"There will be no he or she, no husband or wife, no father, mother - all these words will be gone", the Perth-based Christian pastor said.

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