Up Out In and Down Under

Australia’s marriage equality bill specifies that ministers of religion would be able to refuse same-sex weddings because otherwise it risks creating a right to refuse weddings based on disability or race.

The Australian Attorney General’s department warned a Senate inquiry into the government’s same-sex marriage bill that removing a provision allowing ministers to refuse gay weddings could create a host of unintended consequences.

The bill contains a section that allows ministers of religion to refuse to solemnise a marriage that is not a union between a man and a woman.

LGBTI campaigner Rodney Croome said the application of other discrimination laws showed why service providers should not be able to refuse gay weddings because of a religious objection to same-sex relationships.

“If it’s true that religious marriage celebrants are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of race or disability, then it would be a clear double standard for the government to allow civil celebrants and faith-based businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/25/marriage-equality-bill-right-to-refuse-gay-weddings-protects-against-other-discrimination-inquiry-told

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