Eric Abetz wants protection for ‘conscientious objection’ to gay marriage

Liberal Senator Eric Abetz says he is still hopefully that the result of the marriage postal survey will be a win for the ‘No’ campaign, but if the Australian people have chosen to change the marriage laws he wants provisions for “conscientious objection” included in the marriage legislation.

Speaking to The Guardian Australia, Senator Abetz said the private member’s bill put forward by Senator Dean Smith would not be suitable should the government move ahead with changing the marriage laws.

He said the bill “is seriously inadequate, as parents, freedom of speech and religious freedom, along with conscientious objection, all need full protection.”

Senator Abetz repeated his belief that Senator Smith’s bill could not be the starting point of any discussion on changing the marriage act.

Senator Smith developed his bill based upon the findings of a senate committee report that looked into the issue. It has been endorsed by several pro-marriage equality Liberal members and has to support of the Australian Labor party.

Senator Abetz refused to outline what amendments he had his conservative colleagues would be seeking if the marriage survey returned a ‘yes’ result.

Previous reports have suggested that a gaggle of conservative MPs including Senator Abetz, Michael Sukkar, Ian Goodenough, Andrew Hastie and Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi will push for 60- 100 amendments to the marriage act and anti-discrimination laws.

OIP Staff

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