19.9 C
Byron Shire
January 24, 2022

Amendments to marriage bill would extend discrimination: Natale

Latest News

Happiness

Mick woke up this morning to a great epiphany. So, we’ve decided to forget all our activism, we’re going...

Other News

Bungawalbin primitive bush camp: death by a thousand cuts

Locals are raising concerns in relation to a Development Application for a ‘Community Facilities – Primitive camp ground' near Coraki that they say is a site prone to severe flooding and fire risk.

Can you volunteer to help Friends of the Koala in Lismore?

Lismore’s Friends of the Koala have been on the frontline of saving koalas for many long years and are looking for volunteers to help them keep the species alive.

COVID strategy

Our PM and premier have decided to fall back on the old ‘Dunkirk Strategy’: Retreat, withdraw and claim a...

Boat people we are

We here in this country, now called Australia, need to be reminded that we started off as ‘boat people’. The...

SES issues Minor Flood warning for Lismore

Moderate rainfall across the Wilsons River catchment since Wednesday has caused significant river level rises along the Wilsons River and its tributaries, which has the potential to cause minor flooding along the Wilsons River at Lismore late Friday morning.

Localisation shines as supply chains weaken

While Coles and Woolworths struggle with supply chain issues caused by the Omicron outbreak, local farmer’s markets and independent food retailers appear to be coming into their own.

Senator Richard Di Natale says the Greens will not back any change in the marriage law that winds back existing anti-discrimination provisions. Photo supplied
Senator Richard Di Natale says the Greens will not back any change in the marriage law that winds back existing anti-discrimination provisions. Photo supplied

Right-wing amendments to same-sex marriage laws would provide special privileges for parents, civil celebrants and faith-based charities and undermine existing anti-discrimination laws, Greens Senator Richard Di Natale says.

The Senate will begin dissecting the finer details of a bill to legalise same-sex marriage on Tuesday after debating the overall legislation late into Monday night.

Liberal senator James Paterson has abandoned attempts to allow bakers, florists and other businesses to reject the business of same-sex couples.

But Senator Paterson and Liberal colleague David Fawcett have authored amendments which would include two separate definitions for marriage.

Under the amendments, marriages between ‘men and women’ would be recognised separately to marriages ‘between two people’.

Senator Paterson says his proposal ‘achieves the best of both worlds’ and there would be no legal difference in how married couples were treated.

‘It does allow same-sex couples to marry but it doesn’t unnecessarily abolish the old definition of marriage, which many Australians still sincerely believe in,’ he said.

Parents would also be able to pull their children from classes if they don’t agree with their teachings on marriage.

Senator Paterson rejected suggestions from Education Minister Simon Birmingham that such attempts could be unconstitutional, saying: ‘The advice that I have is that it’s not.’

People who hold traditional views of marriage would be shielded from ‘adverse action’ taken against them by governments or agencies, and civil celebrants would be able to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

Attorney-General George Brandis and crossbencher David Lleyenholm have suggested similar exemptions, which would already apply to religious ministers and celebrants under the cross-party bill.

Labor senator Helen Polley, who opposes same-sex marriage, last night spoke of the need for to protect parental rights and religious freedoms.

‘If someone wishes to publicly or privately object to a change in secular marriage, they should not be persecuted,’ Senator Polley said.

But her Tasmanian Labor colleague Carol Brown came out swinging against the proposed changes.

‘The religious freedom arguments and proposed amendments are nothing more than last ditch attempts to delay what people now need to accept is inevitable and the will of the Australian people,’ Senator Brown said.

Relgion stuffed down throat: Cameron

NSW Labor senator Doug Cameron was even more blunt in his assessment.

‘I don’t want religion stuffed down my throat by anyone. It’s unacceptable to me and it should be unacceptable to this parliament,’ he said.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale says the minor party, while not wanting to jeopardise the passage of marriage equality, won’t back anything that extends discrimination.

‘Being in the chamber, it’s almost like there are two different bills being debated,’ he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

‘It’s become a Trojan horse to try and look at how we extend discrimination rather than end it.’

The Greens had already compromised significantly to back the Smith bill that was the very minimum of what had to pass, Senator Di Natale said.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Boat people we are

We here in this country, now called Australia, need to be reminded that we started off as ‘boat people’. The First Fleet arrived (including my...

Israel and Palestine

As an apologist for Israel, Michael Burd (Letters, 12 January) conveniently ignores the harsh truth of Israel’s brutal oppression, while claiming there are two...

Greens Mandy Nolan to hold community forum in support of nurses and paramedics

Locally and across the state nurses, and paramedics are struggling in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as they are being asked to do double shifts and manage effectively in health system that is struggling to cope. This has led to an increasing number of nurses and paramedics resigning.

NSW COVID update on COVID deaths – vax stats and comorbidities

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet again opened his COVID update with condolences to families who have lost loved ones, and thanks to the  ‘inspirational work of our health workers'.