Conservative same-sex marriage bill has 'no prospect' of passing: Turnbull

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 05:11:30 PM. The PM dismisses a conservative-backed same-sex marriage bill, warning sweeping religious protections that discriminate against gay couples would have virtually no prospect of passing Parliament.
Photo: Competing same-sex marriage bills have inflamed tensions within the Liberal party. (AAP: Alan Porritt) Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed a conservative-backed same-sex marriage bill, warning sweeping religious protections that discriminate against gay couples will have no chance of passing Parliament. Mr Turnbull was responding to Liberal senator James Paterson's bill, which would extend religious protections to allow private businesses to refuse goods and services for gay weddings if they have "conscientious objections". On the eve of the same-sex marriage survey result, Mr Turnbull said MPs and Senators would be free to move amendments to any bill to change the Marriage Act, but those contained in Senator Paterson's plan would have "virtually no prospect of getting through the Parliament". "Assuming there is a Yes vote tomorrow — the pollsters will really be rocked if there isn't — but assuming there is, there will be a Private Members Bill and amendments can be moved and if people want to move an amendment of that kind, well, you know, they can," he said. "[But] I don't believe Australians would welcome, and certainly the Government would not countenance, making legal discrimination that is unlawful today." Backed by his conservative colleagues, Senator Paterson released a Private Members Bill on Monday that he argues contains greater religious protections than the one put forward months ago by Liberal colleague Dean Smith. The move has inflamed...Read more
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