AUSTRALIA: Conservative MPs Plan 100 Amendments To Marriage Bill If Postal Survey Result Is “Yes”

The West Australian reports:

Conservative MPs believe up to 100 amendments are needed to a same-sex marriage Bill being proposed if the Yes vote succeeds, posing a major test for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as he seeks to manage an emerging partyroom split.

With expectations growing that the Yes vote will be successful next month, conservative MPs are preparing a major reworking of a Bill proposed by WA senator Dean Smith that would have between 60 and 100 amendments put forward, sources say.

A group of conservative MPs are working on a revised Bill amid fears that moderates — including leader of government business Christopher Pyne — may rush through the Smith Bill without adequate partyroom debate.

More from Out In Perth:

Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz [photo] has declared that the bill Senator Smith developed, based on the findings of a senate inquiry into the issue, was “not acceptable as a starting point” for may eventually become law.

Senator Abetz, a leading voice of the ‘No’ campaign and longtime opponent of marriage equality, said he was not admitting defeat in survey, but if the ‘Yes’ campaign was successful, Senator Smith’s bill would not be sufficient.

“It is seriously inadequate, as parents, freedom of speech and religious freedom, along with conscientious objection, all need full protection,” Senator Abetz said.

  • bkmn

    Maybe our side could come up with a few amendments too, like eliminating the tax exemption for religious orgs.

    • RationalismRules

      Australia amendments are not the same as American ‘riders’. They are actual adjustments to the bill itself, and as such must be related to the substance of the bill (as I understand it, anyway).

  • KnownDonorDad

    I’m still amazed we beat Australia to the punch, especially when South Africa had shown us up. Now I better understand why that country produced someone like Ken Ham.

    • TampaZeke

      And Rupert Murdoch. The single person most responsible for the shit canning of America.

      • kirby7771

        I hate that guy.

    • sequel

      The South African constitution bans discrimination on a number of protected classes, including based on sexual orientation

      • Blake Jordan

        Unlike the USA, and most other “western” countries, that takes the smallest steps possible when advancing civil rights…
        South Africa responded to Apartheid by trying to wipe out all kinds of discrimination… with a broad and modern constitution.

    • FAEN

      Australia is a lot more conservative than we realize. New Zealand on the other hand seems to be a lot more mellow.

      I remember when they passed marriage equality in Parliament and a few members starting singing a Maori love song and pretty soon the entire Parliament had joined in. It was very moving.

    • Stev84

      South Africa has a very good constitution based on their experiences during the Apartheid era. It’s much better than the American one in that a lot of rights are guaranteed explicitly instead of being left up to interpretation.

      Society on the other hand is very, very far behind that

  • BearEyes

    Does Australia have anything similar to the US 14th Amendment?
    I don’t want to see this end up as secnd class through so many amendments to the marriage bill.

    • scream4ever

      Unfortunately no. Australia is the only major Western nation to not have a bill of rights or some substantial equivalent.

      • BearEyes

        thanks for the info

  • Todd20036

    Glad to know that all of Australia’s other problems have been solved so they can concentrate on taking civil rights away from minorities.

    • Boreal

      They did the same thing with Aboriginal people. Gay people are the new target.

  • Lizard

    “So what are the arguments for both sides?”

    “Well, marriage is a fairly basic institution when it comes to taxes and legal rights and it really doesn’t matter what gender the people are as long as they’re consenting adults. Allowing them to marry and adopt hurts literally no one and could give many of our kids in the system a loving, supportive home.”

    “MY RELIGIOUS FEE-FEES ARE HURT BY THE EVIL GAYZ AND THEIR BUTTSECKS! WHY ARE THEY SQUIRMING WHILE I HIT THEM WITH A BASEBALL BAT!!!!!1!!1!”

    Seems reasonable. /s

  • Tawreos

    Is he saying that he will do his best to ignore the will of the people and try to make any bill legalizing gay marriage such a mess that no one in their right mind could possibly vote for it?

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Pretty much.

  • fuow

    In other words, they’re going to gut marriage equality before the Australians even have it.
    We, here in America, are going to let the Supreme Court declare gays and transgender as the only group it’s legal to discriminate against in December.
    What a clusterfuck!

    • Ninja0980

      SCOTUS will open the door to all groups being discriminated against.
      Gutting the CRA is another long term goal of conservatives.. and we’ll be used as the backdoor for that.

      • fuow

        No, not all groups. Not big business, not conservative christers.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Well, it’s not as if elections mattered when it comes to SCOTUS….oh wait…

  • Rebecca Gardner

    We represent the people that elected us*.

    * – Unless they want equality, fairness, and treating people with respect. Then we’ll hide behind our mythical sky daddy and do everything we can to not do what they want.

    FUCK RELIGIOUS, BIGOTED, IGNORANT ASSHOLES!

  • Ninja0980

    In other words, he’s going to try and do a Rhode Island and make it so same sex marriage has so many loopholes for people to ignore them it’s worthless.

  • Friday

    Sounds to me like a free vote in Parliament would still give full marriage equality, the haters just want to whine and add in hate provisions/poison pills.

  • TampaZeke

    This should surprise no one. Conservatives always keep the goal posts moving on any issue that they don’t want to pass. If the courts pass marriage equality they rant and rave that it’s the legislatures place to pass such laws. When the legislatures pass the laws they rant and rave that it’s the PEOPLE who should pass the laws. When the people pass the laws they take it to court. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

    • boatboy_srq

      Conservatist mantra: there is always another venue.

  • Rebecca Gardner
    • Lizard

      Um…audio, please.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Come on aneurysm.

      • Lizard

        I’ll settle for a good old-fashioned heart attack.

        • Jean-Marc in Canada

          Ah, but this presupposes the presence of said organ in the Orange Bloated One.

          • Lizard

            Very true, very true.

          • Rambie

            Can one have an aneurysm without a brain?

          • Canadian Observer

            Yes. That is why one specifies brain aneurysm, as opposed to, say an aortic aneurysm.

            Oh wait, this isn’t a trivia game…

            Never mind…

        • Snarkaholic

          Or that the yuuuuge TV that he was attempting to hurl across the room…
          …which was still plugged in…
          …as he dropped it on his foot…
          …and was electrocuted.

          • While standing in a puddle of rage tears?

          • Snarkaholic

            Yes…50% rage tears and 50% pee.

        • JAKvirginia

          Massive! Yuge! The biggest! Evah! Show us all how it’s done, Donnie!

        • Exatron

          Either way, if Trump dropped dead right now, I may have to spend some time at a church.

          • Paula

            I would definitely sacrifice a goat in the backyard.

          • Given his known diet and behavior no god would be needed.

      • Mikey

        Just waiting for another “covfefe” moment.
        I’m pretty certain that was a minor seizure, a sign of a mini-stroke.
        I’m just going to sit and wait for the “big one” that turns him into a drooling imbecile (I mean a bigger one than he is now).

    • Rolf
    • 2patricius2

      I think he lost his mind a long time ago. The manifestations are just worsening under pressure.

    • Cackalaquiano

      Can someone hide the nuclear codes for a little while?

    • John30013

      Unfortunately we’ve heard of his “massive” meltdowns before, and he still hasn’t imploded. I hope it happens, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • Gustav2

    To be collectively known as “The Butthurt Amendments”

  • Gene Perry

    Yes, 100 amendments (most of them rather silly) will give MP’s the reason to vote against the bill. Good strategy, you little weasel!

  • FAEN

    Dear Australian Conservatives-

    We’ve see this behavior before and you should just stop. You might be able to delay marriage equality-which is a terrible thing to do to your citizens-but understand it is just a delay.

    You have already lost this battle, this war and you know it. Marriage equality WILL be the law of the land sooner rather than later. And when it falls like ripe fruit I hope you admit that all the insane crap you insisted would happen because of it didn’t.

    LGBT Aussies want the same thing everyone wants-simply to be treated and protected equally under the law. Why you’re fighting against it I don’t know. Maybe it’s fear or maybe you really believe the lies you’ve been fed through the years. Whatever the case, move on already and stop standing in the way of progress.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Oh look, another in a myriad of reasons to intensely dislike conservative religious people.

  • Blake Jordan

    All it should do is remove any gender restrictions from existing CIVIL marriage laws, otherwise everything should be equal!!!
    Additional religious exemptions, or other bullshit should NOT be included!!!

  • greenmanTN

    Gee, it almost makes you wonder what the fucking point of the non-binding postal vote was if they were just going to pull this shit anyway!

    • Ninja0980

      Many of them have made clear they were going to be no votes no matter what.
      So as you said, what was the point of this?

      • JAKvirginia

        To look “fair” by letting “the people” decide. That’s why they’re desperate for a ‘NO’ because we all know they will ignore the ‘YES’. Which, of course, will spotlight their deception. Shit meet fan.

    • Mikey

      From the start, the only acceptable outcome of this “vote” was a “no” vote.

      A “no” would have signalled an immediate end to any and all debate on marriage equality for years to come.

      A “yes” would be ignored, since this was just a “consultation” and was in no way, shape, or form legally binding on the government.

      Anyone who saw this otherwise is hopelessly naive.

    • TampaZeke

      These same people have said from the very beginning that they would vote against marriage equality no matter how the people vote.

    • Bj Lincoln

      Lots of people were saying it won’t matter and the cost was a huge waste of money. This is not a surprise to the citizens. The only thing this survey will do is prove the people want equality and their government is run by religious zealots who should be voted out of office soon.

  • agcons

    Once upon a time on a message board far, far away, someone posted that the southern hemisphere equivalents to the US and Canada were Australia and New Zealand. This comment pissed off the Aussies on the board big time. I had nothing to say about it at the time as I didn’t know.

    But now . . .

  • itsjoe618

    So much for, per Corey Bernardi (hater Senator in their Parliament), and his “silent majority” nonsense. The pro-discrimination side will engage in a lot of flailing and persecution complex histrionics, but I don’t see their legislature falling for these Trojan horse tactics. This graphic sums up that side nicely. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f470c47c1f56e56b157c3936bb3ba71fa3f43ad986b44e2bafc7987d9e7871f9.jpg

  • worstcultever

    bkmn’s comment downthread bears repeating –

    Maybe our side could come up with a few amendments too, like eliminating the tax exemption for religious orgs.

    SO SICK of RW assholes and their endless aggressive bullshit. So tired of the side of the angels always playing defense. Their side’s playbook consists of one single imperative: ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK. Why doesn’t ours?

    • Bj Lincoln

      Exactly! Why doesn’t our side come up with amendments that counter those of the right? How come we can’t add shit to anti-anything bills that would cause the right to cancel the vote?

      • JAKvirginia

        Because “we go high”. Remember? What a load of crap that is. I say kick ’em in the nuts. Hard!

    • ChrisMorley

      Parliamentary democracies like Australia have strict rules about making tax changes.
      You can’t just add abolishing the religious tax exemption, to the Bill for marriage equality.
      Abolishing the tax exemption would need to be part of a government Bill for the annual Budget.

  • Stev84

    >”as parents, freedom of speech, religious freedom, along with conscientious objection, all need full protection”

    No, they don’t. They just want to turn it into another anti-gay hate bill

    • boatboy_srq

      That litany of theirs is everything short of “Because Teh Ghey Is Icky”.

  • 2patricius2

    Creeps and bigots.

  • JWC

    OZ dom’t get over confident the Fat lady hasn’t sung

  • boatboy_srq

    Because of course a simple non-gender-specific marriage statute would be too complicated.

  • TexasBoy

    Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz. A real Tasmanian Devil.

  • -M-

    Oh, ffs.

    Here’s your religious etc protection: You don’t have to get same-sex married or send a wedding present & your church doesn’t have to perform same-sex weddings. Exactly the same protections as regards any other marriage you don’t approve of.

  • What conservatives know, that liberals seem not to understand (and I guess this goes for Australia as well as the US) is that you have to show up and vote in every election. How is it that conservatives have the votes to block something that a majority of people want? Because part of that majority is too lazy/apathetic to show up at elections.

    • Mikey

      Voting is compulsory in Australia, unlike in the US.
      This has nothing to do with people not getting out to vote. You don’t vote, you get fined for it.

    • bobbleobble

      Turnout was 91% in 2016.

      • So what is the reason for the disconnect between the public and their representatives on this issue?

        • bobbleobble

          Rupert Murdoch and the Australian Christian Lobby both of whom the Liberals are terrified of.

  • Paula

    I want to see the Freedom of Religion law modified. It should say Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Evangelism, proselytization, and any attempt to recruit others to your religion. No more JWs going door to door, no mormun boys on bikes, no public revival meetings.

  • Jim Maloney

    No need to complicate. Just handle like Germany did when it was vote time in their legislature: quick and efficiently.

  • Chris Baker

    “conscientious objection” ? So basically, if someone doesn’t like you marriage for whatever reason, they can choose to not recognize it? Does that apply to straight marriages too?

  • orion dumptee

    some photo…the words ” I Am an ASHL….”…..jus jump out all over my screen

  • Halou

    Amendments to include a “shall not apply to gay people” clause, no doubt. The knuckle draggers would never tolerate a hundred amendment derailment drive by ‘the left’ on a bill outlawing basic LGBTI rights.

  • bobbleobble

    This was exactly what I was worried about. Even if there is a YES vote these goons are going to do their absolute best to ensure that gay people don’t end up with marriage rights. They could well end up with something that Labor and the Greens won’t possibly be able to vote for. And Turnbull, already having done a pathetic about face on the plebiscite in the first place, will probably go along with the haters because he is spineless and desperate not to lose his job.

    The conscientious objection idea is particularly egregious because it effectively would enshrine in law a right to discriminate. They want to use what should be a great moment for gay Aussies to undermine the protections that they already have.

  • NZArtist

    Dear Australia,

    Just a reminder of how your Closer Economic Relations across the ditch did it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9pOJ8Bc_-g

  • BobSF_94117

    I know!!! They need some more public referenda!!!!

  • JCF
  • Greg in Oz

    Like hell it does!!!!
    We’ve seen the draft of the proposed Bill already and it goes too far for most of us in the first place re ‘religious freedoms’.
    If, as is looking likely, the result is a large gap for the Yes side, then hopefully the wings of the far right wing nutjobs in our Parliament will be well and truly clipped, so no-one will give their bleating much notice.
    If the Conservatives here do try, the Government might find an almighty backlash coming their way, because everyone – on all sides of the debate are just so sick of their delaying tactics that even the No side will scream at them to just hold the effing vote already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I don’t think they will dare to try anymore delaying tactics if the result is a large one (if it’s close though – well – that’s a different story. It’s certainly not looking that way though)

    • Al Prazolam

      Good luck. We still have a lot of blowback in the U.S. There are plenty of religious wackjobs who make a big stink about gay marriage. We have a case coming before the U.S. Supreme Court in December concerning a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding on the grounds that doing so offended his religious freedom.

      If the court decides for the baker we’ll lose the few protections we have against discrimination. We’re hoping that Justice Anthony Kennedy will join the court’s 4 liberal justices and rule in our favor. He was the author of the gay marriage decision and a bunch of other pro-gay rulings. He’s 81 and is said to be planning to retire. I hope he doesn’t.

      The other justices are too damn conservative, including Neil Gorsuch, the idiot that Trump nominated to the court this year. He’s turned out to be the fascist we feared he’d be. Early this year I read an article in the NYTimes that said he was friends with a gay couple. Yet he is one of those “strict constructionists” who interprets the Constitution very narrowly, as it was written in the 18th Century.

  • Greg in Oz

    Like hell it does!!!!
    We’ve seen the draft of the proposed Bill already and it goes too far for most of us in the first place re ‘religious freedoms’.
    If, as is looking likely, the result is a large gap for the Yes side, then hopefully the wings of the far right wing nutjobs in our Parliament will be well and truly clipped, so no-one will give their bleating much notice.
    If the Conservatives here do try, the Government might find an almighty backlash coming their way, because everyone – on all sides of the debate are just so sick of their delaying tactics that even the No side will scream at them to just hold the effing vote already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I don’t think they will dare to try anymore delaying tactics if the result is a large one (if it’s close though – well – that’s a different story. It’s certainly not looking that way though)