Both bitter LGBTI activists and No voters could tie up the legal system with frivolous discrimination charges, Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm has said in an opinion piece.
Writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, Leyonhjelm claimed to welcome marriage equality while fearing that people still opposing it will be legally targeted.
He called for the religious exemptions from anti-discrimination law currently being discussed to extend to other objectors, such as civil celebrants against same-sex marriage.
“If we fail to extend the freedom to refuse to solemnise a marriage to all non-government celebrants, we will be left in a situation where celebrants who only want to solemnise straight marriages can still do so under the cover of religion, but celebrants who only want to solemnise same-sex marriages will be vulnerable to litigation,” he wrote.
“We will be hurting the very same community that the majority of us voted to ensure had the same rights as everybody else.”
Leyonhjelm said that people opposed to marriage equality were entitled to their opinion.
“In a free society, the majority does not impose its views on the minority,” he wrote.
“Rather, it protects the right of us each to have our own opinion as long as our actions do not harm others.
“And just to be clear, taking offence does not qualify as harm.”
He raised concerns that LGBTI activists might try to make a point by seeking out the services of religious celebrants opposed to same-sex marriage, and that No voting “trouble-makers” could create legal trouble over discrimination for “revenge” over the marriage equality survey.
“The same-sex marriage debate was fought passionately, and there is no denying there was intolerance and poor behaviour by zealots in both camps,” he wrote.
“Now that the legislation is in force, it would be nice if all that could be put behind us.
“But that is unlikely; there is every possibility that trouble-makers on the fringes will now seek revenge or to promote their victory by dragging the other side into court.”
Following the introduction of marriage equality, the federal government inquiry into religious freedom in relation to discrimination is due to report to parliament at the end of March.