FamilyVoice Australia calls on parliamentarians to enact genuine and comprehensive protections for freedom of conscience and religion in any same-sex marriage law, following today’s result from the postal survey.
‘The Yes campaign has repeatedly promised that legalising same-sex marriage will not compromise freedom of conscience and religion. They must now deliver on this promise,’ said National Director, Ashley Saunders.
‘Legislators must grasp that a person’s beliefs, whether religious or not, inform every part of their life in their family, community and workplace. Protections must not be limited to ministers of religion performing wedding ceremonies but should encompass every Australian in any walk of life who cannot, in good conscience, support same-sex marriage,’ continued Mr Saunders.
The behaviour of some Yes voters who harassed and vilified their fellow Australians during this campaign demonstrates the need for such protections. Churches in a leafy outer suburb of Melbourne were graffitied with the words ‘crucify No voters’. A young woman in Canberra was summarily dismissed from her job for posting a ‘No’ slogan on her personal Facebook page. And an angry mob surrounded a small group of No supporters at Sydney University, hurling verbal abuse, throwing food and damaging signs.
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights protects a person’s right to manifest their beliefs in public as well as in private (article 18) and recognises the right of parents to raise their children in a manner consistent with their convictions (article 26)—arguably infringed by the Safe Schools program’s lack of parental consent.
‘Australia’s politicians have an important task ahead,’ said Mr Saunders. ‘If they decide to ignore both our heritage and our biological reality by redefining marriage, then they must also enact broad and rigorous protections for the large percentage of Australians with religious or conscientious objections to it.’