Senate debates

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Bills

Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; In Committee

7:24 pm

Photo of Louise PrattLouise Pratt (WA, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Water) Share this | Hansard source

Currently the bill inserts a concept of 'marriage officer' into the Marriage Act to solemnise marriages within the ADF. This is an important principle. We oppose the amendments before us because in effect you are circumventing the very purpose of the legislation that's before us today, which is essentially that these military-appointed officers should operate in the same way that a civil celebrant does—that is, that they should uphold the antidiscrimination law and not discriminate in their practice as an officer within the military who is able to solemnise a marriage. We, as highlighted, did believe it was important that chaplains who are appointed within the military are not asked to do anything that is outside the official doctrine of their faith. So here we do not feel that we need to support these amendments.

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