Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Senate rejects all 5 "religious protection" amendments to marriage equality bill!

It's a great day and evening for LGBT Australians, and a great day for our democracy. Today the stranglehold that the far right of the Abbott/Turnbull gov that they've had over us LGBT has been smashed to bits. The RWNJ's tried to get through discriminatory amendments to the bill that would make marriage for LGBT a different thing for straight people. They have comprehensively failed.

Australia has rejected their intolerant and ideological stranglehold that they have held against us LGBT for years. Time after time they have thwarted attempts to pass marriage equality in Australia. In recent years there have been 20 bills introduced in the federal parliament, with bitter and twisted bitter middle aged white Catholic men holding Turnbull's balls running the show. Now the floodgates have been opened, pent up for years, and washed them aside. This is a humiliating defeat to the far right of the gov by frustrated Australians at their idiocy.

It has been a far too long, far too frustrating, and far too hateful process. But we LGBT stepped up and took it on against the greatest of adversity. Today's defeat for the fringe dwelling likes of Lyle Shelton and the Australian Christian Lobby is a win for all Australians. A win for love against dogma. A win for love for moderates. Most of all a win for love for David and I to finally have our parliament on our side instead of attacking us.

I'm a bit like Penny Wong when the Yes postal survey was announced. I didn't cry then but I'm crying like her now. My glasses are wet and it's even harder to see :s
The first amendment debated by the Senate would have effectively allowed civil celebrants to refuse to marry same-sex couples based on their religious or conscientious beliefs. It was defeated 42-24. 

The second would have legislated widespread legal freedom of speech protections for people who hold various beliefs, including those against same-sex marriage but also against same-sex parenting and relationships, as well as an anti-detriment clause and a legislated parental right to pull children out of classes that mention the relevant beliefs. It went down 44-20 after a few hours of debate. 

On this amendment, Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie, a strident opponent of same-sex marriage, and Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm joined the majority voting it down. 

A further amendment relating to defence force chaplains was also defeated, as were amendments in relation to registered charities and religious organisations, with similar margins. 

After the five amendments from the conservative bloc were defeated, the Senate also voted down two amendments from Brandis and resources minister Matthew Canavan. 

 The first, defeated 36-27, would have inserted a line about religious freedom taken from the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights into the bill, and the second, defeated 38-25, would have extended a right to civil celebrants to refuse to solemnise gay weddings. 

Further amendments from the Greens, One Nation, and David Leyonhjelm are yet to be debated. 

BuzzFeed News understands that supporters of the legislation are confident that very few, if any, amendments will get up and the Smith bill will pass the Senate largely unamended. Buzzfeed