It is noted that under this bill it appears as though discrimination may be practiced against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens seeking to legally marry, as a matter of conscience alone. Therefore a minister of religion whose own peak religious governing body accepts same-sex marriage may still practice discrimination himself/herself and, a civil marriage celebrant does not have to hold religious beliefs in order to discriminate.
This appears to run counter to international human rights law which does not support discrimination based on a general exemption for conscience. As an example see Article 18 Clause 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Australia on 13 August 1980.
It should be further noted that neither the amendment bill nor the Marriage Act itself appear to contain a legal definition of the term "religious organisation".
For the purposes of any newly amended marriage act, is a religious organisation a not-for-profit institution for the advancement and promotion of religious purposes, such as churches, convents, faith-based schools or bible colleges, or is it capable of a broader definition?
Will any bigot or homophobe be able to prominently display a religious icon in their place of business and thereby gain a right to deny goods and services to same-sex couples seeking to organise a wedding?