Equality advocates have welcomed Labor’s decision to oppose new laws allowing LGBTIQ people to be discriminated against in return for the right to marry.

Labor caucus today decided to back a marriage equality bill proposed by Liberal Senator, Dean Smith.

The Smith bill has been criticised by some of Senator Smith’s Government colleagues for not going far enough in allowing commercial, educational and other services to be refused to same-sex couples and their children if it is for religious purposes.

Some Government members have also called for offensive language laws and school diversity programs to be overridden by a Marriage Act amendment.

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“We would refuse to accept the right to marry under the conditions being proposed by some, more extreme Government members.”

“Just.equal and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays conducted a nation-wide survey of the LGBTIQ community earlier this year and there was overwhelming opposition to marriage with these kinds of caveats.”

“Australians do not want the marriage equality debate to become a vehicle for the latest brand of US-style anti-LGBTIQ hate politics.”

“Equal means equal.”

“For these reasons we welcome Labor’s decision to draw the line at the religious protections in Senator Smith’s bill.”

The Smith bill ensures ministers of religion, religious civil celebrants and some religious organisations will not be forced to be involved in same-sex weddings.

“The Smith bill provides more than enough protection for the religious freedom and conscience”, Mr Croome said.

“Those Australians who are concerned about freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech should channel their energies into a national Charter of Rights to ensure these important rights are appropriately protected.”
Rodney Croome, just.equal