Senate hearings last week shone more light on the legal trouble dissenters of same-sex marriage will find themselves in if the law ever changes.
Martyn Iles gave evidence on behalf of ACL and the new Human Rights Law Alliance, established by ACL, which he directs.
More than 10,000 people watched his testimony online. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you watch it and share with your friends.
Everyone simply needs to know that redefining marriage has big consequences for the freedoms of millions of ordinary Australians.
The rainbow political groups advocating for change made it crystal clear they were opposed to anyone other than a handful of professional clergy being allowed to live out their beliefs about marriage in public without being fined or taken to court.
Wedding service providers should feel the full force of so-called anti-discrimination law if they declined to apply their creative talents to a same-sex wedding, leaders of the same-sex marriage movement repeatedly told Senators.
This is already Coalition and Labor policy.
It is likely that Christian or Muslim schools teaching children the truth about marriage would also fall foul of so-called “hate speech” laws.
It is ironic that another Parliamentary Committee, examining the controversial section 18C of the federal Racial Discrimination Act, is underway at the same time.
This Act makes it a crime to offend someone.
State-based anti-discrimination or “hate speech” laws also use subjective criteria such as offence as a trigger for legal action, as Hobart’s Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous found.
Same-sex marriage law is likely to see far more people dragged to court and fined than under the problematic 18C provision.
Labor Senator Louise Pratt thought she was on a winner when she set up the Select Committee to look at Attorney General George Brandis’ draft same-sex marriage bill.
What she has done has helped people to see that redefining marriage takes away the freedoms of millions of Australians at a time when same-sex couples already have equal rights.
Why the Senate is using its time to examine a draft same-sex marriage bill when it has blocked the Turnbull Government’s promised plebiscite is anyone’s guess.
But Senator Pratt’s move to establish the Senate inquiry has only further demonstrated why every Australian should get a vote on whether or not their freedoms are taken away under same-sex marriage law.
The Select Committee on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill is due to report on February 13.