Thursday, 7 December 2017
Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; Consideration in Detail
I want to be clear: Labor has accepted the need to protect religious freedoms. There is protection of religious freedoms in the bill in the form in which it has come to this House from the Senate. The Prime Minister has described the bill as having adequate religious freedoms, which is why it is a great curiosity that the Prime Minister has said that he proposes to vote for this unnecessary, ill-thought-through amendment. We will not be extending exemptions from antidiscrimination legislation to secular officers appointed by the state. This is something that civil celebrants have not themselves sought. There is already in the bill the creation of a new category of religious marriage celebrants, and that is an acceptable compromise. Labor opposes both parts of this last amendment. Let's get this done.