The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee tabled its report into same-sex 'marriage' yesterday, June 25, 2012.
The Report recommends that the Marriage Act be changed to allow any two people to marry.
Read the Report online - click here (then click on pdf document link). (121 pages, 480KB).
Visit our Campaign page which has links to the two parliamentary Inquiries.
Greens same-sex 'marriage' Bill
The Senate Inquiry was initiated to investigate a Bill put by the Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young.
Committee recommends same-sex 'marriage'
The Committee has recommended that the Parliament change the Marriage Act to allow homosexuals to 'marry'. The main Recommendation (No 4) says "The committee strongly supports the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 and recommends that it be debated and passed into law."
Two changes recommended
The Committee does make two recommendations for changes to the proposed Bill.
One of these is that the definition of 'marriage' in the Bill should be amended to read "The committee recommends that the definition of 'marriage' in item 1 of Schedule 1 of the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 be amended to mean 'the union of two people, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life'.
The other recommendation is that the Bill should include some protection for ministers of religion with respect to performing marriages (Section 47). "The committee recommends that the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 be amended to include an application, or 'avoidance of doubt', clause which expressly provides that the amendments made by Schedule 1 of the bill do not limit the effect of section 47 of the Marriage Act."
However, we know that exemptions are always a problem - they can always be appealed against - and they can always be removed at some later date.
Earlier this month, the Danish parliament legalised same-sex 'marriage'. The law forces the state Lutheran church to perform same-sex 'marriage' ceremonies in their churches. The law allows for a particular priest to refuse to do so (apparently one-third are opposed) but in that case the bishop has to provide another priest who will carry out the ceremony in the church.
Recommends a 'conscience vote'
The first of the four recommendations is that all parties should allow a conscience vote on the issue. Of course, advocates of same-sex 'marriage' realise that this is a necessary condition for passing the Bill because they know they don't have the numbers if ALL the Coalition MPs vote against it. If the Coalition continues to totally oppose same-sex 'marriage' they know they won't have the numbers.
NOW is the time for ACTION!
Please contact your Senators to ask them to vote against the legalisation of same-sex 'marriage' - and contact your federal MP and the Party leaders as well!
Click here for MP contact details.