Same-Sex bill could override anti-discrimination laws


Labor and the Greens will push to get same-sex marriage laws drafted by Liberal senator Dean Smith onto the Senate floor next week.

"If we change the law to allow same-sex couples to marry, and we don't at the same time make provisions for religious freedom, then the. freedom of conscience and freedom of speech of some people could suffer", the Victorian Senator said on Monday.

It also includes exemptions so religious organisations can refuse to conduct same-sex marriages.

"Australians have been voting not to entrench discrimination in legislation".

The Equality Campaign has rejected the marriage equality bill put forward by Senator James Paterson as nothing more than a license to discriminate.

The bill would also have a no-detriment clause that would forbid the government and its agencies from withdrawing funding from an organisation that was opposed to marriage equality, professional organisations would not be able to refuse to register a practitioner who opposed same-sex marriage and public servants would not be allowed to be fired for sticking to their beliefs.

Senator Paterson said he was a supporter of same sex marriage but also believed there was a need for religious freedoms to be protected.

Ultimately it was up to parliament to decide which bill was the "vehicle to facilitate" the parliamentary debate. "I am hoping other senators will consider the matter a priority if there is a Yes outcome", he said.

Senator Smith said he was hopeful the Yes vote would prevail, but even if Australians voted No he would still introduce the Bill to the Senate this week.

Barring any unforeseen mishap, the survey results will be published on by the ABS on 15 November 2017.

"People will be free to move whatever amendments they want and they will be debated and voted on", Mr Turnbull said.

The Senator from Victoria said his bill would allow any Australian to declare that they would not participate in a same-sex wedding if it violated their religious beliefs.

"What you have is a young fogie being led astray by some old fogies".

"It was part of the journey in Ireland [during the referendum on marriage equality], the issue of freedom to discriminate against people, but that debate lasted a couple of hours because Irish people remember what those signs look like".