Australia: Same-sex safeguards not for all

Australia: Same-sex safeguards not for all, by Andrew Burrell.

The Liberal senator who drafted the bill to legalise same-sex ­marriage in Australia says it won’t provide safeguards for business owners who refuse to provide ­services to gay weddings unless they can prove a link to a religious body.

Senator Dean Smith said under his bill, a minister of religion could refuse to solemnise a same-sex marriage, and religious groups were able to refuse to provide goods and services for weddings. But he said there would be no protections, for example, for a Christian-run bakery that refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, unless it had formal links to a church.

Senator Smith said bakers could not presently discriminate against gay people and he did not want to see anti-discrimination laws weakened. …

Senator Canavan told the campaign launch for the Coalition for Marriage: “The Yes side want to make it illegal to just express a different view about marriage, that is their agenda.”

He later said he feared “a strong push to effectively eradicate the view that marriage should be between a man and a woman, to make it illegal”.

hat-tip Stephen Neil