All over the world we’re seeing the effects of legalising same-sex marriage and it doesn’t look good for objectors. Some practices like performing same-sex marriage ceremonies and other supporting services can pose serious moral crises for service providers.Refusing these services on the basis of belief can breach anti-discrimination laws, with jail time as a possible result.Donald and Evelyn Knapp
are two such objectors, ordained ministers in Idaho who refused to perform a same-sex wedding. For standing up for their beliefs, they are facing $1,000.00 fines and jail time of 180 days each. Read more
In the UK, Peter and Hazelmary Bull
disagreed with a same-sex couple staying at their bed and breakfast. For refusing to take the booking, authorities fined them £3,600.00. Read more
In Canada, sports presenter Damian Goddard
was fired because he expressed support for the timeless (man-woman) model of marriage. This came about when professional hockey player Sean Avery used Twitter to support same-sex marriage. When Goddard supported a colleague in disagreeing with the view, employer Rogers Sportsnet fired him on the grounds that: "it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization." This is being called a clear violation of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Read more
Closer to home, tennis great Margaret Court
came under attack when she expressed opposition to same-sex marriage early in 2012. Court was accused of spreading “hateful comments” and “inciting the bigots out there” by samesex marriage activist Kerryn Phelps. Court said she felt stunned, victimised, and the target of a “relentless hate campaign” for stating her views. Read more
Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett
was subjected to similarly vicious attacks after writing that the timeless model of marriage was the best environment in which to raise children. As leader of Beyond Blue, he observed a rise in anxiety among very young children that is often “a direct result” of their family situations. Following outrage from homosexual activists, Kennett backtracked on his statements “in an apparent bid to mollify the gay and lesbian community”. Read more
Section 116 of the Constitution of Australia reads:The Commonwealth shall not make any law for… prohibiting the free exercise of any religion.
Anti-discrimination laws are important, but Section 166 acknowledges religious belief as core to the people of this country.
Is it ok for Government to step in and favour anti-discrimination laws over the right to free exercise of religion?