Gay Marriage Legislation = Forced Acceptance

A legal opinion by lawyer Ian Bassett said a Human Rights Commission statement that religious officials and leaders were free to refuse to perform marriages that were not in accordance with their religious beliefs, was incorrect.

He said if celebrants and church leaders refused to perform marriages, or hoteliers and others supplying services to the public refused to supply services to same-sex couples for a wedding, they would be breaching the Human Rights Act.

15 thoughts on “Gay Marriage Legislation = Forced Acceptance”

  1. I have been thinking about this issue and have reached the conclusion that I believe Christian Libertarians still ought to support the Legalisation of Gay marriages in spite of the evils of the HRA, though they ought to make it clear that they do not support compulsory submission to perform Gay marriages, or compel churches to allow their property to be used against their will. I say this because no matter what Churches may still act in a civil disobedient manner in activism against the corruption of the HRA, and refuse to grant permission to allow Homosexual marriages to take place in on their property. And they could do so while displaying every Christian virtue… ie without hatred or bigotry.
    That this would put the Church at variance with Bad Law is no excuse to shy away from doing what is right. And this contention would Rally the church to support Religious liberty and to overthrow the Corrupt compulsions Re the HRA… rather than taking the other course…. of denying Homosexuals equality before the Law. (Many Christian will use the HRA as pretext to maintain Legal favouritism for Heterosexual marrage.
    By disregarding the HRA and supporting the reform, the Christian Libertarian is walking the High ground… above the thorns and thistles, and applying Idealism rather than pragmatism… which is what would be the case if we reject the reform simply because of the evils of a separate legislative evil.

  2. Equality before the Law is not a ‘scareCrow’ Reed. Furthermore by supporting the reform does not compromise True Christianity in the slightest way. In fact it is the the Christian thing to do… ie to stand on the side of justice.

  3. Equality before the Law is not a ‘scareCrow’ Reed.


    In fact it is the the Christian thing to do… ie to stand on the side of justice.

    What’s injustice is caused by not having gay marriage legislation?

  4. Reed, here’s an idea.

    Churches can decline to cater for same-sex marriages on exactly that ground – the fact that the people are of the *same* sex. This is not discrimination on the basis of *sex*, nor is it discrimination on the ground of *sexual orientation*.

    God only knows how many “gay” marriages Christian churches have already officiated over, particularly in times gone by, when the husband was gay, or the wife lesbian, or (if the couple was lucky) both.

  5. Human Rights Act 1993
    Section 65 – Indirect discrimination

    Where any conduct, practice, requirement, or condition that is not apparently in contravention of any provision of this Part has the effect of treating a person or group of persons differently on 1 of the prohibited grounds of discrimination in a situation where such treatment would be unlawful under any provision of this Part other than this section, that conduct, practice, condition, or requirement shall be unlawful under that provision unless the person whose conduct or practice is in issue, or who imposes the condition or requirement, establishes good reason for it.

  6. The Human Rights Commission is misleading the public…

    Human Rights Commission confirms position on same sex marriage and freedom of belief
    Chief Commissioner David Rutherford said the Commission stood by its statement on same sex marriage made 24 August 2012. “The Commission has made clear its opinion that religious ministers cannot be compelled to marry anyone in their churches. Whether they choose to marry anyone is a matter for them and their conscience. That will not change if the Bill on same sex marriage currently before the house becomes law.”

    … but I don’t expect Chief Commissioner David Rutherford is subject to fraud legislation.

  7. Thanks for that Reed. It shows that all this talk that legalising Gay marrage will end up forcing Churches to sanction Gay marrage and force them to perform them or to allow them to happen on their property is Bullshit, and really a scaremongering tactic to make Libertarian minded Christians shy away from supporting the reform.

  8. Richard,
    Think about this. Would you advocate the abolishment of the Helmet laws even though Taxpayers will still foot the bill for head injuries?
    Dont you see that unless you separate the issues into independent ideals rather than dealing with reforms on a pragmatic basis …in respect to other tyrannies…that you will hesitate from many important/ just reforms???
    As a Libertarian I cannot accept that one bad law justifies the maintenance of another bad law! Thus even if the HRA could possibly be used to violate religious liberty by attempting to compel churches to marry Gays against their will, that this cannot be justification for maintaining a legal descrimination which disadvantages Gays.

  9. Tim, I see your point. It’s a good one. I wouldn’t vote against the bill (btw, it just passed its first reading, 80 in favour to 40 against) but I couldn’t quite bring myself to vote in favour, either. If its proponents were honest, they’d add some explicit safeguards, wouldn’t they?

  10. Other than forced acceptance of homosexuality – what is the purpose of this legislation?
    What’s injustice is caused by not having gay marriage legislation?

    Does the absence of polygamous marriage legislation create injustices?
    I say no.

    What would be the injustice if there were no marriage legislation at all?
    I think there would be none.

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