Malcolm Turnbull disagrees with Kevin Andrews views on discrimination

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described former Minister Kevin Andrews comments endorsing discrimination as “extraordinary”.

Following today’s decisive win by the ‘Yes’ campaign on the issue of marriage equality, Andrews told Sky News that he was in favour of introducing laws that allowed people to discriminate on the basis on sexuality and religion.

Andrews told Sky News political correspondent David Speers that he thought the marriage bill being put forward by Senator Dean Smith was “woefully inadequate” when it came to protecting religious freedoms.

Asked if it was acceptable for a baker to refuse to serve a gay couple, Andrews said he had believed it should be possible if the person was not a supporter of same sex marriage, and highlighted he would also support gay bakers refusing service to a heterosexual couple.

“I wouldn’t have a problem if there was a gay baker who said ‘I don’t want to bake a cake for a heterosexual wedding’ or ‘I don’t want to bake a cake for a Christian’, or an Islamic celebration, or whatever it might be.” Andrews said.

Speers asked if a Jewish baker should be allowed refuse service to an Islamic person, “Why not?” Andrews said, explaining that he didn’t object to refusal of service if the rules were applied evenly. The Liberal MP said he only supported the discrimination if it related to marriage.

Andrews said when it came to activities involved with the preparation, solemnisation or celebration of marriages people had to be free to choose who the did businesses with.

Speaking to Tripple J’s Hack program Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he strongly disagreed with Andrews stance.

“I absolutely do not agree with Kevin Andrews that bakers should be able to discriminate against people, whether it’s on the basis of their religion,” Turnbull said. “I found that an extraordinary proposition.”

Yesterday, ahead of the release of the marriage survey results the Prime Minister commented for the first time on the alternative marriage bill put forward by Victorian senator James Paterson.

Turnbull said there was virtually no chance that parliament would pass Senator Paterson’s bill. Critics had described the proposed legislation as an attempt to wind back anti-discrimination laws.

This afternoon Senator Paterson announced he was abandoning the bill.

OIP Staff

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