Howard: laws must protect those tangentially affected by marriage equality

johnhowardFormer Prime Minister John Howard has made a series of comments about the potability of marriage equality being introduced into Australia and has said religious freedom needs to be protected.

Speaking to The Guardian the former Liberal leader said there must be protections for people who are affected in a tangential way.

“I do think one thing that has to be addressed is the question of proper protection of religious freedom, and freedom of conscience in relation to people who might in a tangential way be affected by this.” Howard said.

While the proposed changes to Australian’s marriage laws would see civil ceremonies being open to same sex couples, religious institutions would not be required to offer weddings to gay couples.

There has however been calls for ancillary wedding service providers to be excluded from the nation’s anti-discrimination laws. Conservative groups, including the Australian Christian Lobby, have argued that people of faith who provide services should be allowed to refuse services to gay couples.

If such a provision was written into any future legislation individuals and business who provide services like accommodation, catering, wedding invitations, bridal clothes or similar services would be able to turn gay people away on religious grounds.

Howard also reiterated that he was personally opposed to same sex marriages but believed most parliamentarians would respect the outcome of the proposed plebiscite should it be successful.

OIP Staff



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You must be logged in to post a comment Login