Tuesday, 28 November 2017
Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017; In Committee
It was interesting to hear Senator Paterson say that he hoped his fears regarding the status of charities were unfounded. Senator Smith's confirmation from the charities commissioner that nothing in this bill would change the status of charities is all the confirmation and assurance that you need, because, once again, this bill is about marriage. This is about legislation to change the Marriage Act so that LGBTI people can marry. Anything beyond that—if there are subsequent policy changes to common law aspects—is well beyond marriage and well beyond what the consequences of this marriage legislation would be. Again, it may be that the status of charities is something that needs to be discussed in the review of religious freedoms by Mr Ruddock. It may be that when we have the complete overhaul of our human rights act and we end up with a bill of rights—as I hope we do—this issue would be addressed, but it does not need to be addressed in this marriage legislation.