Same sex marriage bill

The Australian Senate committee on this Bill is seeking submissions from mere mug punters. Here's one that I came across.

The exemptions contained in the Bill in relation to ministers of religion, religious organisations and marriage celebrants are appropriate, but insufficient.

The free exercise of a religious view, or a moral or philosophical view held for other than religious reasons should be a part of normal civil society and should not be penalized in any way (except of course where the rights of others to freedom of speech, association, and freedom from malicious or negligent acts detrimental to their persons or affairs would be directly breached).

The Bill should also exempt from legal action any person who declines to trade with some one where that trade could reasonably be construed to suggest support for same sex marriage. This could include for example, a builder not wanting to build premises for people who were in a same sex marriage, or a real estate agent not taking instructions from persons in a same sex marriage, if that would offend the trader's views about marriage. This is pertinent given the long standing operation of marriage to be in respect of a couple of the opposite sex where marriage is in the normal course of events likely to result in procreation. Procreation is of course impossible for a same sex couple, they being sexually inert, making the social role of same sex marriage to be entirely different from that of marriage as it is historically known and practiced.

Moreover, section 116 of the Constitution of Australia precludes the Commonwealth of Australia (i.e., the federal parliament) from making laws for establishing any religion, imposing any religious observance, or prohibiting the free exercise of any religion.

The Bill, if passed in its present form would prohibit the free exercise of any religion by any adherent of that religion where their religious belief denied the possibility of same sex marriage. This law would be oppressive to vast numbers of Australians and permanently change the face of Australia introducing into our society a level of suspicion, resentment and distrust that would be damaging, if not disastrous.

The protections I support above would prevent opportunistic and vexatious use of the law by same sex marriage activists making 'targeted' approaches to businesses known to be operated by people opposed to same sex marriage for either religious or moral reasons. Such approaches are not to genuinely seek to trade, but are as retaliation against their reasonable views and to cruelly destroy their business, as has occurred in other jurisdictions.

No comments:

Post a Comment