… CONCERNS ABOUT MARRIAGE BILL

Equality advocates have praised the Greens for proposing improvements to marriage equality legislation that will reduce the possibility of discrimination against LGBTI people.

The Greens have moved amendments to the bill tabled by Liberal Senator, Dean Smith, that will limit exemptions that allow discrimination in wedding services against marrying couples, including same-sex couples, on the grounds of religion.

The amendments also rename the bill so that it explicitly says it enacts marriage equality.

Just.equal spokesperon, Rodney Croome, praised the Greens for listening to the concerns of the LGBTI community.

“LGBTI community surveys auspiced by just.equal and PFLAG have shown there is deep concern in the LGBTI community about exemptions that allow unnecessary discrimination and we thank the Greens for listening to those concerns.”

“By voting Yes, a majority of Austrtalians not only affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry, they also repudiated the No campaign’s proposition that freedom and faith need additional protections from same-sex marriages over and above existing religious protections in the Marriage Act.”

“We thank the Greens for constructively engaging with just.equal, PFLAG and Rainbow Families over a period of several months regarding the concerns of the LGBTI community and how those concerns should be reflected in amendments to the Smith bill.”

“We ask other parties to support the amendments so that Australia, like every other country with marriage equality, can achieve this reform without unnecessary caveats or carve outs.”

Executive director of Rainbow Families Victoria, Felicity Marlowe, said,

“I support the amendments proposed by the Greens as they reflect the feedback I have been receiving from our rainbow families since the postal survey announcement.”

“Rainbow families do not want to see marriage equality compromised by unnecessary and complicated additions to the simple proposition that 61.6% of postal survey respondents voted for, LGBTI people should be able to marry the person they love.”

The Marriage Act already protects religious freedom by ensuring no minister of religion or faith community is forced to solemnise marriages in violation of their doctrines.
Rodney Croome, justequal