There was a Senate Committee set up to look into IF marriage equality would be brought in, should exemptions for ministers of religion, marriage celebrants and religious bodies and organisations so that they wouldn’t have to have anything to do with same sex marriage?
Both the NT government and the NT Anti-Discimination Commission put in a submission. Here they are:
NT Anti-Discrimination submission:
NT Government submission:
Formal terms of Reference
That a select committee to be known as the Select Committee on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill be established to inquire into and report on, by 13 February 2017, the Commonwealth Government’s exposure draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill, with particular reference to:
- the nature and effect of proposed exemptions for ministers of religion, marriage celebrants and religious bodies and organisations, the extent to which those exemptions prevent encroachment upon religious freedoms, and the Commonwealth Government’s justification for the proposed exemptions;
- the nature and effect of the proposed amendment to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Commonwealth Government’s justification for it;
- potential amendments to improve the effect of the bill and the likelihood of achieving the support of the Senate; and
- whether there are to be any consequential amendments, and, if so, the nature and effect of those consequential amendments, and the Commonwealth Government’s justification for them.
What was the outcome? summary from the Law Council
“the committee suggests that ministers of religion, and certain religious celebrants, should be able to refuse to marry same-sex couples in line with their beliefs. Civil celebrants on the other hand are performing a secular function and so have no other proper basis for exemption.
“the committee agrees with the Law Council that ‘religious bodies’ that were not specifically established for religious purposes, should not be exempt from anti-discrimination laws.”
“we note that the committee did not recommend exempting individuals or commercial businesses from anti-discrimination law who hold a ‘conscientious’ objection to providing goods and services for same-sex weddings.”