Senator Paterson’s Bill Provides License To Discriminate

13 November 2017



  • YES campaign said the Bill put forward by Senator James Paterson provides license to discriminate
  • This Bill is simply about enshrining discrimination and taking Australia back decades
  • The YES campaign supports the Dean Smith Bill – which has cross party support across the Coalition, Labor and The Greens.
  • Independent, nationwide poll of 1,500 people commissioned by the Equality Campaign reveals Australians reject rolling back discrimination laws.
  • We have moved beyond the Australian where you have a sign outside your shop saying who you will and will not serve.

The Equality Campaign today rejected the marriage equality bill put forward by Senator James Paterson as nothing more than a license to discriminate.


“This is not a marriage equality bill. It's about enshrining discrimination and taking Australia back decades,” said Anna Brown of the Equality Campaign.


“Australians are voting to make our country a fairer and more equal place, not to take us back to a time where people can be denied service at a shop. 


“We are confident that the majority of parliamentarians are sensible and will see this for what it is and not wind Australia back decades.


“Australians have voted for equality, not more discrimination. Australians believe in a fair go for all – this Bill goes completely against what people have voted for.”


The Equality Campaign today released a poll showing strong Australian support for marriage equality and rejection of any rolling back of discrimination laws.


The independent, nationwide poll of 1,500 people, commissioned by the Equality Campaign and conducted by Newgate Research in late October, revealed that when given examples of possible extensions to discrimination on religious grounds Australians are strongly opposed.


The Equality Campaign’s Alex Greenwich also welcomed the announcement by Senator Dean Smith that he would introduce his marriage equality bill into the parliament on Thursday.

“The proposed bill has support across the government, opposition, and cross-bench and there should be no impediment to it passing now.


“The Bill proposed by Senator Paterson could potentially go as far as denying couples who have had sex or children before marriage, divorced people and same-sex couples everything from flowers at anniversaries to vaccines for honeymoons.


“We have moved beyond the Australia where you have a sign outside your shop saying who you will and will not serve.


“Fairness and equality are at the heart of Australian society and we believe our laws should reflect these values of which we are most proud.


“Our campaign has worked hard to bring Australians together and achieving marriage equality will be a unifying moment for our nation as we include everyone in our marriage laws. Let’s get this done so we can all move forward as a fairer and more inclusive nation,” Alex Greenwich concluded.


Contact: Clint McGilvray 0413 285 186


Note: The Equality Campaign commissioned a large sample poll (n=1,500) through Newgate Research. The poll was conducted independently in late October when voting was still open. Margin of error is +/- 3%.



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