Two bills for marriage equality are set to be introduced this week, after the results of the postal survey are announced.
Conservative Liberals have drafted a new bill, released today by senator James Paterson, that enshrines the right of service providers to refuse to serve same-sex couples, The Australian has reported.
The bill specifies the “relevant marriage beliefs” on which people will be permitted to discriminate.
In addition to the belief that relationships should be between a man and a woman, the bill specifies that discrimination based on beliefs against extramarital sex and non-binary gender, among others, will be legally protected.
The bill would require amendments to the federal Sex Discrimination Act as well as the Marriage Act, and would override existing state and territory anti-discrimination laws.
Also included in the bill is a reference to Safe Schools, specifying that parents may opt their children out of classes that conflict with their values.
Paterson said the provisions in the bill were necessary to protect diverse views.
“If the parliament opts for a narrower bill with fewer protections, I fear we will see some Australians seek to impose their values on others, with court cases and other legal mechanisms,” he said.
“No one should want to see the messy court cases that have occurred after same-sex marriage was legalised in other countries.”
Liberal senator Dean Smith will also introduce his marriage equality bill this week, Perth Now has reported.
Smith’s bill preserves the right of religious ministers to refuse to solemnise a wedding, without introducing new provisions for other discrimination.
“The objective of the bill is clear: it creates equal access to marriage while protecting religious freedom in relation to marriage,” said Smith.
“There is no apology for the fact that the bill does not address free speech or parental rights—because it’s a bill about marriage equality.”
Smith’s bill has already been subject to a cross party senate committee, and was built upon the findings of a senate inquiry.
The marriage equality postal survey closed last week after 12 million Australians voted.
The result will be announced on Wednesday morning.