Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

It's time to draw the line on discrimination exemptions in marriage legislation

By Rodney Croome - posted Monday, 27 November 2017


If any more discrimination exemptions make their way into marriage equality legislation, that legislation should be voted down and we should start again.

The Dean Smith bill already has more exemptions than most LGBTI Australians can tolerate.

Anything more would make a joke of our collective effort to achieve full equality and would not be worth the right to marry.

Advertisement

Let's start with how unpopular the Smith bill is and why.

A recent survey of 3,300 LGBTI Australians across all demographics showed around 70% opposition to those sections that allow discrimination by civil celebrants who nominate themselves as "religious" and by commercial services that are tied to religious organisations.

A majority said they would rather wait than accept marriage on these terms.

The concerns many LGBTI people have about the Smith bill relate to both principle and strategy.

The exemptions set bad precedents for allowing discrimination in the name of religion and they give new life to old prejudices about same-sex marriage being a threat to faith and freedom.

According to the above study, over 70% of LGBTI people believe the Smith exemptions will be used disproportionately against LGBTI people even though they don't exclusively target us.

Advertisement

Black letter lawyers defend the Smith bill saying nothing really changes because its exemptions echo existing exemption in the Marriage Act and other acts.

But they fail to understand that when you duplicate bad laws you give them a new lease of life to cause renewed harm.

Strategically, the bill's exemptions give too much away too early (who starts negotiations with their final position?), they may encourage the demand for further compromises, and it has never been clear how many votes are contingent on them.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

40 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Rodney Croome is the National Convenor of Australian Marriage Equality and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003 for his gay rights advocacy. He is co-author of Why vs Why: Gay Marriage.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Rodney Croome

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 40 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy