First of all, let's call this so called debate in Parliament for what it actually is. It is an abuse of our Constitution, justice and democracy. Present and past Senators have openly allowed religious law, morality and ritual to dominate Parliamentary debate and influence law.
Religious laws, which oppose marriage equality are constitutionally illegal. It's right there in black and white. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act - Section 116 states:
The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth. Source.
Let's break that down, shall we? Here are the lawful meanings of these words.
- Impose - to force on to someone an unwelcome decision or ruling
- Religion - belief in a supernatural, Being, Thing or Principle; and second, the acceptance of canons of conduct (fundamental rules) in order to give effect to that belief
- Observance - the practice of observing the requirements of law, morality or ritual
It's really straight forward. So straight forward, that any layperson understands the significance of this section of the Constitution.
Unfortunately the High Court has interpreted these prohibitions very narrowly. The High Court ignores the use of "or", and instead has interpreted this section to equate only to restrict the Commonwealth from "prohibiting the free exercise in any religion". This is quite simply narrow-minded and wrong, as it violates a simple English grammatical disjunctive. The use of OR, in fact, creates a list of mutually exclusive options. This law must be applied more broadly.
The current High Court interpretation is narrow-minded, pointless, and out of touch.
If you were to take away those who object based on these grounds, you would be left with a very small pocket of others who object on other irrational grounds (e.g. Homophobia).
Some Australians believe that their right to exercise religious freedom should come before the law on imposing religious observance. They believe it as an oxymoron and cannot separate these laws in their minds. However, when presented with the argument that "these laws also prohibit other religious faiths from imposing their views on all Australians, including themselves", they tend to begin to understand why the Constitution is indeed worth fighting for. This could set a dangerous precedence for their own religious freedoms.
So why does Parliament continue to entertain this? When slavery was abolished, or women given the right to vote, and other Human Rights and Equal Opportunity issues are presented, both Religious principal and hate-based opposition are set-aside.
Religious law and hatred should have no standing in Australian law.
To be clear, we are not suggesting those with religious views should not be allowed to express them. But we are suggesting that any laws which have been made on account of religious laws (and not as a result of an open or free debate) are constitutionally invalid.
Let's face it - the opposition is primarily based in religious principal.
It is time for a Royal Commission into Constitutional Violations
We will mandate a Royal Commission into this injustice and swiftly legalise marriage equality at a federal level.
By permitting unconstitutional argument to influence their vote in law reform (for example, the recent changes to the Marriage Act introduced by John Howard in 2004, proposed funding of a "NO" campaign in a plebiscite going to the Australian Christian Party and numerous Senators who admit their views are based on religious faith), present and past Senators who have been found to be involved must step-aside in a vote on marriage equality in the Senate.
Many tenants who are in same-sex relationships or do not identify as a gendered person are also often discriminated against and as such, we will also mandate that no application need ask for your marital status, under our anti-discrimination campaign.
The Government has committed $173,000,000 to hold a plebiscite (or public vote) which would give people with religious-based opinion and hate a voice. By cancelling this discriminatory vote and passing just law, money will be saved and could be spent on far better initiatives. I am sure an increased spend in shelter for the homeless, for example, ought to be a far worthier cause.
Please help us put an end to the discrimination in Australia by joining our fight for tenant rights.