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Marriage equality no crowning glory or national soul cleanse

Coalition Senator Dean Smith receives a hug from Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy after the same-sex marriage bill passed the Senate in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, November 29, 2017.
Coalition Senator Dean Smith receives a hug from Labor Senator Malarndirri McCarthy after the same-sex marriage bill passed the Senate in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, November 29, 2017. LUKAS COCH-AAP

OPINION:

THE LEGISLATING of marriage equality will not be a glorious victory by Malcolm Turnbull.

It will not be good for the soul of this country, as the ABC quoted Senator Dean Smith describing the debate as he spoke before the first vote on his marriage equality bill.

It will be the final act of a complete and utter abdication of responsibility by the overpaid group elected to supposedly represent us.

I don't consider it overly good for anyone's soul, this entire process.

Our honourable members were prepared to splash plenty of our cash, up to $122 million, on a process which in effect gave the green light to bigotry and ostracism of our fellow human beings.

How good for the soul indeed.

The results of the same-sex marriage survey showed just how out of touch our MPs were.

They didn't have the intestinal fortitude to do their jobs, legislate equality and move on.

That was the wish of the Australian electorate. Tony Abbott's own backyard was 75% in favour of it.

Thankfully Dean Smith's bill passed the Senate without amendment or much fuss.

There were attempts to do so, with two definitions floated, protections for freedom of speech about traditional marriage and more.

All were ignored.

And now it sits in the lower house where MPs will no doubt spend way too much time pontificating, while some of the more conservative, close-minded MPs will push for amendments as they seek desperately to legitimise discrimination.

But our MPs need to be very clear. We did not say yes to discrimination.

The survey question was not a trade-off of equality for vilification.

There is no fine print with this one.

Religious celebrants can refuse to marry a same-sex couple.

Personally, I still have issue with that, but that's more to do with my issue with religion in general so I'll leave it there.

A civil celebrant administers the Marriage Act.

If the Marriage Act allows same-sex couples to marry, then the civil celebrant must marry them.

If they have issue with it, or it goes against their religious beliefs, they should resign and become a religious celebrant.

It's that simple.

They should not have the right to refuse to marry a same-sex couple.

Just like a baker, dressmaker or whatever other embarrassing example we've heard shouldn't be allowed to discriminate.

We can't discriminate based on race, religion or age and nor should we on sexuality.

That Mr Turnbull supports it says a lot.

Hurry up, do your jobs, legislate equality without a catch and move on.

Topics:  community equality federal government federal politics marriage equality politics relationships same sex marriage senate sunshine coast



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