December 11, 2017

Same-sex marriage passes Senate without religious protections

The passage of a same-sex marriage bill through the Senate has been hailed by supporters as a victory for inclusion. Source: Pixabay

The same-sex marriage bill of WA Liberal Dean Smith has had a seamless passage through the Senate, 43 votes to 12 (3 abstentions).

Prominent pro same-sex marriage politicians, including Attorney General George Brandis and Labor Senate leader Penny Wong, were jubilant at the result.

“We are part of an act of acceptance, an act of inclusion, an act of respect, an act of celebration — a day when this Senate declares our acceptance of our LGBTIQ brothers and sisters,” Ms Wong said.

The bill contains a basic protection for religious celebrants, preventing them from being compelled to (legally) marry same-sex couples.

The bill does not contain protections for lay religious adherents who do not recognise the proposed new legal definition as corresponding with the nature of marriage.

People who voted against the bill were Eric Abetz (Liberal), Cory Bernardi (Australian Conservatives), Slade Brockman (Liberal), John Williams (Nationals), Fraser Anning (One Nation), Matt Canavan (Liberal National), Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (Liberal), Lucy Gichuhi (Independent), Chris Ketter (ALP), Brian Burston (One Nation), Helen Polley (ALP) and Barry O’Sullivan (Nationals).

The bill is expected to be debated in the House of Representatives on Monday.

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