Exposure Draft of the Same-Sex Marriage Bill – Jan 2017
The Commission has provided a submission on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill.
About the submission
The submission focuses on section 47A of the Bill, which allows marriage celebrants to refuse to solemnise same sex marriages on the basis of conscientious or religious belief.
The Commission takes the view that the provision is potentially incompatible with Australia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, specifically the right to equality. Furthermore, the Commission is concerned that the Bill does not define the concept of conscientious belief in s 47A and instead introduces a concept in the legislative drafting that may pave the way for unjustifiable discrimination in the provision of marriage services. Finally, s 47A may raise questions of inconsistency in respect of Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.