Sunday, 12 November 2017

Dean Smith will table his consensus marriage bill in parliament this Thursday

Senator Dean Smith

Gay Western Australian senator Dean Smith will introduce his marriage equality bill into parliament this Thursday, the day after the results of the postal survey are announced on Wednesday. This is the one that has been through the senate process of consultation and which has bought about consensus by all those involved.
“I am sure the great majority of Australians share my view — if a Yes vote is announced the parliamentary debate should begin at the earliest possible opportunity,” he said.

“After a cost of $122 million, and over two months of campaigning and years of public discussion, it makes no sense to delay a parliamentary debate. Australians upheld their end of the bargain by voting en masse, now it’s time for Parliament to uphold its end of the same deal.”

Senator Smith said as the Senate was sitting this week, it made “no sense” to delay making marriage equality law in Australia.

 “After the result is known on Wednesday, it is my intention to canvass support to introduce a Bill this week. I am hoping other senators will consider the matter a priority if there is a Yes outcome,” he said. “Beginning the debate in the Senate allows the House of Representatives to debate the Bill in its last two sitting weeks of the year.” Perth Now
Yes you read that right. Even after the postal survey which will tell us the bleeding obvious, the parliament still has to debate the bill to make it into law. Those MP's against marriage equality still want to use parliament to torpedo it.

Not to be outdone, the right wing of the gov has their own marriage equality bill that they will also introduce. This is a bill that has been rushed together at the last minute by those who have opposed marriage equality all along, and if put in to law would see any business be able to refuse service to gay people because they're gay (on the grounds of "religious freedom"). To do this they would have to write a new discriminatory federal law that would override state laws that currently forbid such discrimination by commercial businesses, such as the state New South Wales Anti-discrimination Board of which David and I recently went to over our complaint against the Oxford Hotel on Oxford St over the bouncer refusing me entry calling me a "faggot".

Overriding state based anti-discrimination laws to write new federal laws that would discriminate in the commercial arena against us because of being gay is of course completely unacceptable, a huge step backwards in gay rights and just plan wrong. Labor has already said it will only support Dean Smith's bill, so I can't see the Goodenough bill gaining much traction in the senate. 
Mr Goodenough said the alternative Bill could also be introduced into the Senate this week. 

“If the result of the vote is Yes, we want protections for parents, protections for religious institutions and charities to be free to express contrary views without being held to account by discrimination laws,” Mr Goodenough said. 

“The Dean Smith Bill covers who could marry, and could refuse to marry. But then after the marriage ceremony, the Bill remains silent on what happens if, say, a school teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman. In the future, could they be taken to court?” 

Senator Smith said he respected the right of “every parliamentarian” to bring legislation and amendments to Parliament, but believed his Bill was the best way forward. 

“The objective of the Bill is clear: it creates equal access to marriage while protecting religious freedom in relation to marriage,” he said. 

“It allows a minister of religion to refuse to solemnise a marriage due to religious views and creates extra protections for existing civil celebrants. 

“There is no apology for the fact that the Bill does not address free speech or parental rights – because it’s a Bill about marriage equality.” Perth Now
Honestly, these people in the gov are absolutely intractable. Even after likely getting a Yes result in the survey they set up to fail, they're still fighting tooth and nail against David and I. WTF is their problem?