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SSM protections: “George Brandis says”

SSM protections: “George Brandis says”

Humpty dumpty sits in the senate, why on earth nobody knows…

Those three words, “George Brandis says” is the man’s trademark which means, “I talk rubbish.” George Brandis QC, a lawyer who might have to survive of perking ticket issues were he to return to legal practice. Both he and Turnbull were dead certain that Barnaby Joyce was sailing pretty. As attorney general Brandis has presided over many legal flops, why then would we have an ounce of confidence in any legal matter on Brandis which he makes comment? Dear Lord the swamp is full of them!

Senior Government ministers are moving to avoid another feud within the Coalition over same-sex marriage, nominating Liberal Dean Smith’s bill as “a good starting point”, while promising “ample protections for religious freedoms”. As expectations grow a “yes” result will be announced on Wednesday, those on the conservative side have been trying to exert influence over the shape of any bill to legalise same-sex marriage.

Source: ABC

Same-sex marriage bill would contain ‘ample religious protections’, George Brandis says

Senator Smith’s plan has attracted broad parliamentary support — but Liberal Senator James Paterson released an alternative on Monday, which he argued would provide even greater protections for religious freedoms, beyond the ceremony itself.

Some conservatives are deeply concerned the “centre-right” Coalition could be the party to legalise same-sex marriage and see “heavy” religious protections as their only protection against a backlash from party members and supporters.

But Attorney-General George Brandis said the Coalition had “gone to great lengths to make sure this is ultimately the call of the Australian people” and any bill would contain “ample religious protections”.

“We have always made it clear that the protection of religious freedom is an important value,” he told 7.30.

“But where you draw the line, how narrowly or how broadly you draw the line, is going to be the subject, no doubt, of a lot of attention during the parliamentary debate.”

The protections contained in Senator Smith’s bill would ensure religious ministers and civil celebrants cannot be sued if they refuse to marry same-sex couples.

But Senator Paterson’s version has gone much further — allowing private businesses to refuse goods and services for gay weddings if they have “conscientious objections”.

Religious exemptions are a backward step

Allowing people and private businesses to refuse service for same-sex weddings would undermine anti-discrimination legislation, Mark Humphery-Jenner writes.

Senator Paterson’s bill would effectively mean demolishing or overriding existing anti-discrimination laws — which Cabinet Minister Simon Birmingham said the Government had no intention of doing.

“We already have very clear anti-discrimination laws that say you can’t turn customers away on the basis of their gender, race, and sexuality and we should not be changing the operation of those laws,” Senator Birmingham said.

Senator Paterson’s intervention in the debate has infuriated some colleagues, who have questioned whether the Victorian Senator — who voted Yes in the survey — was now trying to burnish his conservative credentials to shore up his pre-selection.

One MP said their “gut turned” when they read the details of Senator Paterson’s bill, while another Coalition MP accused him and his conservative colleagues of trying to “torpedo” the process.

There is also an element of frustration among the same-sex marriage supporters, who feel that they have “bent over backwards” to meet the demands of the right-wing of the party — including agreeing to a postal survey.

Depending on the outcome of the survey, Senator Smith is set to table his bill on Thursday, while Senator Paterson is yet to decide whether he will introduce his plan to the Upper House or the party room for further debate.

However, senior members of the Government have made it clear there is little appetite for more debate and the fate of both bills would be decided in Parliament.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Jarrah 14/11/2017, 6:53 am

    Watching Brandis and Penny Wong in Senate question time yesterday showed incompetence and arrogance in full flight, how badly served we are by these second grade politicians. I do not trust them to get this right, they have form for stuffing things up. Labor and Liberal, birds of a feather.

    • Albert 14/11/2017, 7:29 am

      I listened to Brandis making that welcoming speech to the new Senate President and thought here is another bag of wind that revels in the sound of his own voice. I hope that those who voted for this irrelevant shyster realise how foolish they were.

      • Neville 14/11/2017, 11:44 am

        “irrelevant shyster” – Nice one!

  • Lorraine 14/11/2017, 8:21 am

    I get that the politician has to have a thick skin, I get that only half the people voted for each person. But the Senate has people with minority votes. The people with minority votes get to pass major bills that effect us all. I also watched the Senate at work yesterday , what a wasted space that was, it showed one what is a useless Government at work. With The Communist Nick McKim about to have a seizure on the floor and George the Lawyer unable to nail him .

  • LennardC 14/11/2017, 9:01 am

    They don’t seem to realise that religious protections (or freedom of conscience) and anti-discrimination protection are inherently incompatible. Eventually they have to collide and the government is signally that religious protections are only a concession but anti-discrimination is core.

    Anti-discrimination/hate speech laws are bad news; emotive interpretations, kangaroo courts, bias, hidden rankings for victims based on how victimised they are perceived, arbitrary sentencing … These laws are not based upon a presumption of freedom or impartial law giving which are foundations to Westminster law.

    Religious protections/freedom of speech/freedom of conscience have always fallen to the politically correct jackboot where SSM has been legalised. It is only a matter of time. So it is pointless to argue over which protections should be legislated if the core business is anti-discrimination.

    Only protecting a minister is a bit thin however, considering how all encompassing a change to this nation’s foundational concept of marriage will be.

    • Neville 14/11/2017, 11:47 am

      Neatly stated, LC. Yes, “freedom of conscience and anti-discrimination protection .. have to collide”. Good point.

  • Honeybadger 14/11/2017, 12:03 pm

    What has the word come to when instituting a postal survey for everyone to have a say on SSM, is regarded as ‘bending over backwardS? Once upon a time not so long ago it would have been heresy to suggest not having a survey. The chasm between common sense decisions and fervent decrees is sadly, growing every day.

  • Albert 14/11/2017, 12:36 pm

    Shyster Brandis on teevs talking about the SSM vote. We are not being told the truth about protections, religious or otherwise. Brandis now says that we should wait for SSM marriage is legalised before we have the argument about who and what is protected.
    For a start his speech indicates a Yes vote win (does he know something we don’t?) and secondly what argument? He is the Attorney General and his job is to protect the rights of all the people against minority storm troopers. There should be no argument.
    Just get on with doing the right thing Brandis you useless excuse for a man.

  • Joe Blogs 14/11/2017, 2:40 pm

    Now we have to suffer that squawking, formerly cute Kenneally running in Bennelong. I guess there are two benefits if she, um, GetsUp!
    1) She won’t be on Fox as much. Nah; forget that. They’ll be all over her.
    b) It’ll be fun watching her and the druggie’s moll going for the same D/PM gig. Reckon the Bonker’s preference is obvious: out wiv the Slav and in wiv the Yank.

  • Lorraine 14/11/2017, 6:26 pm

    loser ”””’Kenneally was a loser in a Labor Government and she, will be a loser in Bennelong are you sure it was not Bob Hawke they are bringing out of moth balls…..

    • Albert 14/11/2017, 7:37 pm

      Lorraine, I think Bob is still at the taxidermist.

      • Joe Blogs 14/11/2017, 7:55 pm

        He can get well and truly stuffed as far as Blogs is concerned. Old Blanche might still mount him, but that’s about it.

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