… MOTION COULD “LEGITIMISE AND ENCOURAGE DISCRIMINATION”

“I am concerned this motion’s wording may be used to justify discrimination in relation to same-sex marriage.”
– law lecturer, Anja Hilkemeijer

“Mr Abbott has lobbed a grenade into the marriage equality debate that will legitimise and encourage discrimination.”
– equality advocate, Rodney Croome

Equality advocates and legal academics have raised alarm bells about a motion from Tony Abbott that will weaken anti-discrimination laws for same-sex and other couples.

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“Mr Abbott has lobbed a grenade into the marriage equality debate that will legitimise and encourage discrimination.”

“If Parliament backs Mr Abbott’s motion it could be used in court to knock out cases taken by same-sex and other couples who have experienced discrimination.”

“It could also be used by religious bodies to apply for special exemptions under anti-discrimination legislation.”

“Most of all, Mr Abbott’s motion, if successful, will also send the message that discrimination against same-sex and other couples has the tacit support of Parliament.”

“The last thing we want to see is wedding businesses, marriage registrars and welfare agencies believing that discrimination is okay because Parliament has given them a defence in court.”

“When same-sex couples experience discrimination they should be confident they have the same legal protections as everyone else.”

University of Tasmania human rights law lecturer, Anja Hilkemeijer, said,

“There is no justification for cherry picking or privileging one conscientious view over all other views.”

“This motion may be relied on by judges in interpreting anti-discrimination acts and will increase the possibility of litigation.”

“I am concerned this motion’s wording may be used to justify discrimination in relation to same-sex marriage.”

Mr Abbott’s motion will be voted on as part of the broader debate on Senator Dean Smith’s marriage equality legislation.

For a copy of this statement on the web click here

Mr Abbott’s motion is as follows:

Whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House notes that it is vital that individuals and entities are not disadvantaged nor suffer any adverse effects as a result of conscientiously holding a particular view of the nature of marriage.
Rodney Croome, justequal