Thursday, 15 September 2016

No Plebiscite, You Cowards in Canberra!

In August 2004 the Australian Parliament changed the federal Marriage Act 1961 to deliberately exclude LGBTIQ couples from legally marrying, so it’s up to the Australian Parliament to rectify its own mistake.

“Two thirds of the Australian people, a majority of the parliament and leaders of all major parties support every Australian being treated fairly and equally through the Marriage Act. It is time for the Parliament to deliver marriage equality. We call on our parliamentary supporters to start working together on a pathway that delivers marriage equality in this parliament without delay.” [Australian Marriage Equality (AME) Chair, Alex Greenwich in media release, 14 September 2016]
Click on image to enlarge

The unashamed public vitriol begins....

While misguided attempts to entrench discrimination in legislation continue in the federal parliament:

Senator Leyonhjelm says he has been actively lobbying Senator Brandis to consider and adopt aspects of the Liberal Democrats bill on the matter. 
“I am pleased the Liberal Party has adopted exemptions for civil celebrants, along the lines of legislation my 2014 bill,” Senator Leyonhjelm said. “I have also shown Senator Brandis my 2016 bill exempting people who supply goods and services for weddings from breaching the Sex Discrimination Act. I believe that these kinds of tweaks help to make the legislation more acceptable to politicians in the Coalition and thus more likely to succeed.”

And even though its plebiscite question simply states “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”, the Turnbull Government seriously contemplates creating two separate forms of legal marriage - one of which fails to allow the full protection of federal anti-discrimination law to LGBTIQ couples.

The Guardian, 14 September 2016:

The government will propose new protections for “conscientious objectors” to same-sex marriage which marriage equality advocates fear could allow civil celebrants, registrars and even bakers and florists to refuse to serve same-sex weddings.
According to briefing notes on the plebiscite prepared for the Coalition party room, seen by Guardian Australia, the legislation would allow “conscientious objectors” to reject same-sex weddings, an exemption more extensive than merely allowing religious leaders to refuse to conduct them…..
The note said the government will introduce proposed amendments to the Marriage Act and other relevant legislation to give effect to the decision of the plebiscite “well in advance” of the popular vote.
“Those amendments will also include appropriate protections for religious freedom and conscientious objections,” it said.

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