SYDNEY == The head of Australia's marriage equality push has slammed calls for anti-discrimination exemptions to be legalised under the guise of "religious freedoms" in the event of a yes vote in the postal survey, claiming such moves would be against the spirit of the support for the reform.
Victorian Senator James Paterson has proposed a rival bill that would "preserve" religious freedoms and allow businesses to decline to take part in same-sex weddings. The bill makes minimalist changes to protect religious freedom without legalising discrimination by commercial service providers.
"I will now work constructively with my parliamentary colleagues over the coming weeks on amendments to ensure that the strongest possible protections for the freedoms of all Australians are enshrined in the final legislation". "Different senators will have their own views about whether the protections in Senator Smith's bill go far enough", Senator Brandis said.
Significant ground was given on all sides and the Greens made significant concessions Di Natale said, to create the cross-party Smith bill.
"There won't be a government position, there won't be a party position", Senator Cormann said.
"It is clear the majority of senators believe my colleague Senator Dean Smith's Bill is where we should start", Senator Paterson wrote on his Facebook page.
Throughout the day several Liberals who voted against same-sex marriage in the survey said they would vote in favour of it in parliament, including the assistant minister for cities, Angus Taylor, and the Liberal MP Lucy Wicks.
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It permits ministers of religion and religious marriage celebrants to refuse to solemnise a marriage and it allows bodies established for religious purposes to refuse to provide goods or services for the purposes of the solemnisation of a marriage, ' Ms McLeod said.
Senator Smith's bill has been co-sponsored by eight senators from across the political spectrum, and both Labor and The Greens have thrown their support behind the bill.
Senator Matt Canavan told ABC News24 that he would respect the wishes of Queensland and would not oppose a same-sex marriage bill, but added he "won't support a bill that diminishes fundamental human rights", arguing that the Smith bill was not "adequate". "This Bill will encroach on many of these protections in an extraordinary and perilous way", she said in a statement.
Hinch said Paterson had acted as a "stalking horse" for conservative opponents of same-sex marriage and suggested amendments put up one by one would be "slaughtered".
Liberal senator Dean Smith, who has authored a bill which would legislate marriage equality, has asked Parliament to begin the debate on Thursday.
One Nation, which controls three votes in the Senate, has reserved its position.