The Coalition for Marriage today expressed its deep disappointment that the Labor/Greens/Smith bill looks set to pass the Senate without amendment. 

The bill, never presented to the public as the one on which it would be endorsing with a ‘yes’ vote, fails to reflect Australia’s obligations under international law and so fails to uphold the fundamental freedoms of ordinary Australians.

The Senate has once again prioritised politics over the people.

By refusing to even consider the inclusion of protections for freedom of speech, freedom of religion and parental rights in the same-sex marriage bill, the Senate has ignored the concerns raised by millions of Australians during the campaign and the assurances given by both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader.

The Coalition for Marriage is hopeful that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will not renege on their promises to protect religious freedom, and looks forward to these protections being inserted into the Labor/Greens/Smith bill when it comes to the House of Representatives.

Both ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ voters across Australia, particularly in areas where commitment to faith and family are strong, will be watching closely on whether their MPs take a stand for free speech, freedom of religion and parental rights when exercising their vote on proposed amendments.

In September, Mr Turnbull said that in the event of a ‘yes’ vote, a private member’s bill would include strong protections for religious freedoms and assured Australians that they should not be concerned about that, while Mr Shorten guaranteed that Labor would not support a bill that did not protect religious freedom. The Australian people expect them to keep those promises.