Monday, 13 November 2017

James Patterson's proposed abolition of honeymoons for same sex couples

Sometimes I wake up and wonder what rubbish I have to read that some Parliamentary draftsman has prepared which has then been passed by Parliament and is yet more red tape called legislation or regulation.

This morning I woke up to read one of the worst Bills ever- the proposed Bill by Senator James Patterson- which purports to allow religious conscience for those who object to same sex marriage. You may think I am just a cranky old curmudgeon, who gets his kicks from complaining- but bear with me:

  • this Bill has been rightfully condemned by the Law Council of Australia as allowing people to object on the basis of a thought. If you think I'm exaggerating on this- the Bill says: "preventing the rights of freedom of thought, conscience, religion, expression and association in relation to the holding, expressing or acting on, certain beliefs."
  • the Bill is so bad that if a service provider believes that a heterosexual couple (who are overweight) should not get married because they will lead to obese children- the service provider can refuse service. In essence the bill has holes in it that a Mack truck could be driven through. The belief need have nothing to do with religion whatsoever.
  • the Bill will override the valued protections under the Sex Discrimination Act - designed to protect LGBTI Australians, amongst others- and a slew of State and Territory anti-discrimination laws. In a triumph of doublespeak, reminiscent of the pigs in Orwell's Animal Farm, the Bill gives its justification based on human rights- while removing the human rights of those the subject of thoughts or conscience, allegedly based on religion but possibly based on bigotry.
  • the Bill will allow those who currently have to provide goods and services without fear or favour (because of anti-discrimination legislation including the Sex Discrimination Act) to discriminate- even for a thought- to refuse to provide those goods and services. Imagine about to drive to the ceremony in a hire car- and finding that because the fellow behind the desk does not approve  of gays marrying that you can't get to your own wedding. May be you're lucky and all works well- you get hitched, you have the reception and then you go to retire for the night on your honeymoon- to discover that the clerk behind the desk does not approve of lesbians getting married- and says- without fear of consequences- that there has been a mix up, that the accommodation is not available- you'll have to go somewhere else.
  • You've got past that part and get the phone call from your celebrant: "Guess what? This has never happened before. The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages has refused to allow your marriage to be registered." Yes, you've got it absolutely right. The Bill is that bad that it would allow a bigot like Kim Davis refuse to register weddings of same sex couples.
What an absolute disgrace. 

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