Thursday, 7 December 2017
Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; Consideration in Detail
I will not be long, I just want to conclude on the final point that I made because it is a most important point. The fundamental principle of this country, with our religious freedoms, is the ability to change one's religion if one so seeks. But what this bill does is provide a 90-day window for someone who is a civil marriage celebrant to decide where they will sit—whether they will solemnise same-sex marriage or they will not. They have 90 days to exercise their religious freedoms, and then after that they cannot change their position. That is something I cannot support. And I would encourage again my colleagues to give this amendment one final thought about whether they can support it. It will not frustrate the bill. The final bill will go through, but this will at least give marriage celebrants some form of protection.
Finally, I am completely against the principle that we as a government will hold a list that divides marriage celebrants into some that support same-sex marriage and some that don't. I believe that fundamental principle is against the entire bill for what all those in the gallery here are to support. With that, I commend the amendment to the House.