Marriage Equality Discrimination ‘The Real Slippery Slope’, Campaign Head Tiernan Brady Says
SYDNEY == The head of Australia’s marriage equality push has slammed calls for anti-discrimination exemptions to be legalised under the guise of ‘religious freedoms’ in the event of a yes vote in the postal survey, claiming such moves would be against the spirit of the support for the reform.
Liberal senator James Paterson has revealed the details of a marriage equality bill he has been working on, with the support of conservative politicians who opposed the reform, which would allow gay couples to marry while also inserting broad exemptions to anti-discrimination law to allow businesses to refuse service to same sex weddings.
Paterson’s bill, which has been roundly criticised by marriage equality supporters, would allow churches and celebrants to refuse to solemnise a same sex wedding, establish a limited right of conscientious objection so no-one is forced to participate in a same-sex wedding against their sincerely held beliefs, and would allow parents to take their children out of classes that conflict with their values.
The bill also enshrines protections for people who hold views that marriage is only between a man and a woman, that sex should only be between married men and women, and that gender is only binary.
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.
“The people are being asked if we should treat LGBTI people equally. 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.
“That would be profoundly disrespectful and a rebuke to the people of Australia. A yes vote cannot and should not and must not become a moment where others try to unravel existing anti-discrimination law.”