AUSTRALIA: 49% Say Businesses Should Have Right To Refuse Same-Sex Weddings On Religious Grounds

The Guardian reports:

Almost half of Australians believe service providers should have the right to refuse same-sex weddings on the basis of their religious views, a poll has found.

The Lonergan Research poll of 971 people found that 49% believed that service providers who refused same-sex weddings based on their religious views should be protected by law, compared with 35% who disagreed and 15% unsure.

Those most likely to support service providers’ ability to reject same-sex weddings were people who oppose marriage equality (76%) and people aged over 65 (65%) but even 39% of people supporting marriage equality agreed with the proposition.

In a sign that the survey result might not align with published polling, 9% of people surveyed said they had lied to or misled others about how they voted in the marriage equality survey.

Survey results are due to be released on Wednesday.

  • bkmn

    I see we need to provide some education to the Australian masses about what equality means.

    • Tawreos

      We still need to learn that in the US

  • Ross

    I am glad other countries are just as stupid as America.

    And horrified.

  • PickyPecker
  • Smokey

    Wonder how many Australians believe service providers should have the right to refuse weddings on the basis of the couples’ religious beliefs or race?

    • Buford

      I can’t wait for the reports of successful, progressive-minded business owners who refuse to serve Christians because their hate and bigotry violates the business owners’ core beliefs. It’s inevitable, and it’s gonna be awesome.

      • agcons

        If I were a business owner in one of these “religious freedom” jurisdictions, I would do it to the very first douchebag “Christian” customer.

        • Buford

          “I see you’re wearing a cross necklace… I’m gonna have to ask you to leave”.

    • leastyebejudged

      A lot of them do, they ain’t no damn angles in Australia.

  • CanuckDon

    What if they re-worded the question so that those businesses had to place a sign in their windows stating such?

    • Buford

      My take is that, ultimately, the free market will defeat this RFRA ‘right to refuse services’ nonsense. To your point about signs, it will become clear which businesses leverage their faith discriminate against others, and their businesses will suffer because of that stance.

      • Chris Baker

        I agree. Let them discriminate, but make them put up signs.

        • Buford

          …or let’s preempt the need for signs and develop the Waze-type app which uses real-time user feedback to track, share, and expose those business which are misusing their faith to justify their bigotry.

          “This new shop looks nice (checks phone)…Oh wait… never mind… looks like the owner is a bigoted asshole”.

      • leastyebejudged

        What about all the instances where the exact opposite has happened (like pretty much EVERY example in the media in the last few years), and business owners that have pulled this have made big $ in donations and from the PR ?

        • Buford

          I don’t know that this is true. Effectively all of the most-visible cases have resulted in rulings against the businesses and in favor or non-discrimination. The fact that idiots start GoFundMe efforts to send those businesses piles of cash is separate from the issue of the business being successful or not.

          The point here is that, should RFRA laws codify widespread faith-based discrimination, the free market will undoubtedly be the primary weapon to quash that discrimination. There are far more people in this country who despise discrimination than support it, and making it easy for those people to put their money where their hearts are will make a big difference.

  • j.martindale

    Isn’t it comforting to know that England didn’t send ALL of its criminals and insane people to the American colonies?

    • KCMC

      Ironic or expected. Same 2 countries have highest rates of ADD/ADHD.

    • jerry

      They sent all their religious fanatics here, all their criminals to Australia.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      We got the impure puritans.

      • The_Wretched

        I rather we had the criminals.

  • Kevin Andrews

    It doesn’t matter if it’s the USA or Australia, the fearful fundamentalists, the Missionary of Hate will use their mythology to justify their sick positions no matter what. These mythologists are worse than spoiled children.

  • Snarkaholic

    Just weddings? What % support businesses denying gay people ANY merchandise/services?

    • Friday

      THe CHristianists like to bait and switch that way. It’s of course, only about the damn cakes to *them* ….as an excuse to discriminate everywhere and against anyone they feel like.

  • Hryflex

    I am so disappointed in Australians; I though they were more reasonable than Americans. According to Wikipedia, only 16% of Australians attend church — so, that means that 33% of Australians hang on to religious biases even though they don’t practice their religion.

  • Tawreos

    One thing that no one can take away from the fundies, they never learn from the mistakes of others.

    • CanuckDon

      “…was blind….but never do see…”

      • KCMC

        En la tierra de los ciegos, el tuerto es Rey.

  • Buford

    Once again… if your CHOICE to be religious conflicts with your other CHOICE of how you want to earn a living, you are the only one who can reconcile that conflict. We are not obligated to make accommodations just because you are making unwise, conflicting lifestyle choices.

  • TrueWords

    Why stop at gays….stop serving blacks, women, the disabled, overweight people, unattractive people, Muslims, Christians…I mean GO ALL OUT WITH YOUR IGNORANCE AND BIGOTRY….people KNOW it is WRONG and against the LAW but since they can hide behind their “religious beliefs” it makes it OK…utter self-serving BULLSHIT

    • Tawreos

      That would suck I would have three strikes against me and not be able to shop anywhere

      • djcoastermark

        Ya, but at least you would know where you couldn’t go. /s /s /s /s

      • Bluto

        I think a majority believes as I, you’re welcome here.

    • another_steve

      Bigots are by nature ignorant. I’m sure the bigots in Australia haven’t thought this through past the “okay to hate homos” thing.

      But just as you say, TW.

      What if my deeply-held religious beliefs tell me that I should not serve those who worship Jesus Christ?

    • olandp

      That is the plan, the goal is to get back to Jim Crow, well Jim Crow on steroids.

      • Natty Enquirer

        Maybe “Jesus Crow” this time.

      • Chris Baker

        Except now, if they put “whites only” or “straights only” on signs in their store, there would be a great backlash. They would lose a lot of business. They want to turn away gays, but they don’t want everyone to know.

    • leastyebejudged

      I’ve been to dentists that didn’t want me as a patient before, but instead of just coming out and saying so, they pull shit like try to sell me things like a 200 dollar fluoride treatment and shit until you just give up and leave.

      There are all sorts of ways businesses parse clients, and they get away with it and will continue to get away with it. Just like businesses get away with firing people for being gay and married.

      All I know is that my husband had an excellent employment history before we got married, and now he keeps getting fired. And literally, nobody gives a shit about us.

      So I’d caution people about getting married in the USA at least.

      The difficulties we have don’t annoy me for myself, there are a lot of people and organizations I’ve enjoyed helping in the past that I simply can not afford to help now. The impact is ongoing.

  • PeedeResistance
    • Tawreos

      I was hoping he would say that.

      • Hue-Man

        You don’t have to ask him twice…

  • AlternativeQuacks

    I think it will pass. Even if 9% lied, that’s still quite a bit less than the lead that the Yes campaign had over No, last time I read about it.

    • bobbleobble

      It’s also not necessarily the case that the people who lied or misled did so on the YES side. It’s conceivable that some of those people said they voted NO but didn’t. Also it’s not clear to whom they were referring, were they lying to pollsters or just friends and family?

      ETA thinking about it, it seems odd that people would lie to pollsters about their vote but then tell the truth about lying about their vote to a different pollster! I’m wondering if this means they’re talking about friends and family.

      ETA 2 – I just read the article – which I should have done in the first place! – and it turns out that 10% said they voted NO when they actually voted YES compared to 6% of people who said they voted YES and actually voted NO. The poll also suggests 65% of people voted YES.

  • Sam_Handwich

    why are they even asking this question, tho??

    is this something being discussed as part of legal debate? or is this an issue the NO camp has been bombarding voters with?

    • PickyPecker

      something something…cake…something something frosting…something something wrestling.

      • Adam King

        Ooh, wrestling!

      • mpatreyu

        Wrestling? Tell me more

    • Tawreos

      They may be seeing what is going on in the US and asking to see what Australians think

    • BearEyes

      Seems more like manufacturing an issue

    • bobbleobble

      The NO camp have been pushing exemptions for ‘Christian’ businesses quite hard as a possible amendment to any same sex marriage bill that comes before Parliament. I suppose if the result is closer than the polls suggest then they might just get it too.

  • Bluto

    OK, fine. Just 1 requirement though, a big fucking sign in the front window letting the public know who you will & will not serve. Two way street, no one should have to patronize bigots.

    • CanuckDon

      Perhaps we should produce and market them! Encourage them to place them in their windows.

    • WNY

      And on ALL of their advertising, phone book ads, and promotional flyers

      • Bluto

        ‘This bizness contains tree nuts, dairy, soy, bigotry & discriminatory practices’

  • Butch

    So I’m free to post a “no Evangelical christians” sign at our shop based on my sincerely held beliefs?

    • Funny how that’s always a No, right?

      • Butch

        Yeah, cuz that would be discrimination, unlike, uh, when it’s against gays for, you know, reasons.

        • Tawreos

          Religion is covered by federal laws, homosexuality is not.

          • bobbleobble

            In Australia it is covered by federal law.

          • Tawreos

            I was not aware of that, thank you.

          • bobbleobble

            No worries.

            I think that’s what’s most insidious about these potential amendments to any same sex marriage bill. It chips away at long held protections for people which I think is a dangerous precedent for minorities going forward.

          • ChrisMorley

            I don’t know how the federal parliament in Canberra will deal with proposed amendments to the Bill, but the Westminster parliament had dozens to consider.
            Most were never debated. A representative few were selected for debate, and no adverse amendments were passed.

          • leastyebejudged

            Dangerous precedents going forward, you mean like forcing everyone to buy a product they don’t want, with no recourse, and fining them for refusing ?

            I wish people would think everything through so thoroughly.

    • Natty Enquirer

      But homosexuality is a choice!
      Oh, wait …

    • KCMC

      wise business model is get the money from wherever.
      Ho like that.

  • Gay Fordham Prep Grad

    I’ve been to Oz on two extended visits and as much fun as Melbourne, Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef are, you don’t have to venture too far beyond the city centers to find racism and homophobia at a level that Roy Moore would find comforting.

    • JAX

      I used to live there, and I can completely cosign.

      • bobbleobble

        I think the same can be said of anywhere. I lived in the Netherlands for a while and was shocked at the level of homophobia in some parts of the country.

        • another_steve

          Yes, anywhere. You only need travel an hour north of New York City to find areas in New York State that are the moral equivalent of Alabama.

          Virginia, much in the news this week, is another startling example. Aside from Northern Virginia – one of the most progressive areas in the country – most of the rest of the state is Roy Moore territory.

          • bobbleobble

            Terrifying isn’t it?

      • /

        In the US, you have rednecks.
        In the UK, you have chavs.
        In Australia, you have bogans.
        Every country has its proudly stupid people.

        • JAX

          With this knowledge, why is there not an initiative to erect more cities in the USA?

      • Mark

        Me too Jax — on the Sunshine Coast.

    • leastyebejudged

      All I hear when an Aussie speaks is banjos.

  • worstcultever

    Poll of a whopping 971 people? Wow that’s comprehensive.

    Fox News kinda shit is SO overrepresented in media culture – even here.

    For me the main thing is the kids – who overwhelmingly don’t give a SHIT about homophobia OR religion.

    • worstcultever

      (by homophobia, I mean professional queer-hating)

    • bobbleobble

      Well with only 971 respondents it’ll have a significant margin of error but it allows the NO camp to push some of their nastier amendments.

  • drbrentzenobia

    This same survey also polled views in the US as a comparison, and they were way off (more conservative) compared to numerous polls conducted here. Given the political maneuvering happening in the Australian parliament over the marriage bill, it seems highly likely this was commissioned to provide cover for the right wing.

  • alc2018 hey if I can be a big sloppy bigot why not everyone else I put my bigotry on at night right after I pull out my teeth and take off my hide-it-all girdle..

    • Tawreos

      she needs to get her money back on that girdle, because it is not hiding shit.

      • greenmanTN

        But it’s the most expensive model Bovatits McGee makes!

    • leastyebejudged

      I don’t get all the hate here for her, clearly she is disabled.

      Just LOOK at those clothes and those shoes.

  • AlternativeQuacks

    It’s all about the cakes. It’s always about those fucking cakes.

  • Blake Jordan

    Any business that will discriminate against same gender couples should be FORCED BY LAW to post a destinctive sign in the businesse’s window proclaiming their discrimination policy, as well as include a disclaimer in all advertising that they discriminate against LGBs.

    So LGBTQ+s and their allies know who to avoid!!!

  • Michael R
    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      We need to release a breeding colony of Roos in the US

  • Tatonka

    I born midway through the South’s experience with desegregation, and have seen the lasting stain that institutional discrimination leaves on a society. I hope Australia spares itself that skidmark on its history.

  • Ninja0980

    Will you post a sign in your window saying so?

  • Gigi

    Ya but no. The plebiscite asked whether or not same-sex couples should be able to get married, Y/N. It didn’t ask if, after being given the right to marry their same-sex partners, theists should have the right to treat them like second class citizens. If it’s illegal to discriminate against Talibangelsits, it should also be illegal to discriminate against gays. That’s all. And fuck off!

    • bobbleobble

      You think that and I think that but the bill has to get through Parliament in the event of YES vote and the NO camp are going to be doing everything they can to stop that. They will point to this poll and insist that there are massive exemptions carved into the Australian Federal Sex Discrimination Act and if they manage to get such an amendment attached to the bill then I think some on the YES side will struggle to vote for it.

  • Stev84

    Fuck religion

  • If you want to deny based on religious objections, then I think it would be respectful to place a sign at the door that states such so that we are not embarrassed to be turned away at the counter in a public setting. But that won’t happen because all you @ssholes WANT to embarrass and humiliate us as much as you can because you are dispicable ungodly people.

    Since that won’t happen, ALL businesses that are inclusive should organize and create a door sign that signifies their support of ALL people. That way, the religious business fanatics that think they should run everyone else’s lives instead of worrying about their own misgivings will be obvious and our straight allies will also know what businesses are religious bigots.

    Also, our straight allies could ask a business if they are inclusive before patronizing them. And, kindly let them know that they just lost your business due to their disrespect of all.

    • leastyebejudged

      To me, those signs everywhere would be far, far more devastating to us.

      I shudder to think of a young child, struggling with their identity and sexuality, encountering such signs everywhere. I actually got teary thinking about it.

      • Priya Lynn

        Yes, could you imagine being gay or lesbian in a small town and almost every store has a sign saying the don’t serve gays?

        A lot of people who live in big cities think its no big deal to find someone else to serve you but it can be impossible in a small town.

        • leastyebejudged

          Oh, you’d be served, but only if you hid what you are, and that’s what it’s all about.

          It’s not that they want us gone, they just want us invisible. Well, they want us gone, too, but I was trying not to be dark.

  • TexasBoy

    So folks are lying to others about how they voted because they don’t want to be shamed? Reminds me of that scene in Blazing Saddles where the lady brings Sheriff Bart a pie, then says “Of course, you’ll have the good taste not to mention that I spoke to you.”

  • Gigi

    “The Lonergan Research poll of 971 people…” And where did they find these people, at a Duggar family jamboree? This is a piss poor sample size, imho. Just did a Google search and it seems that their “polls” are all done online on their FB page. If FB polls are considered scientific and accurate then, according to the poll that I did last week, Trump and his entire family will be going to jail before the end of the year.

    • agcons

      I’m a lot less concerned about the sample size than I am about the rest of their methodology. On line? Facebook? Really??

  • Ben in Oakland

    I’m not overly worried about it, myself.this is not the world of 20 years ago, but the world of the internet and social media.

    Let’s get marriage equality. That’s what is important, not who bakes the cake. Those who wish to hate will do so. They might not Iike the results when they do.

    I was a high end wedding photographer for 30 years. This kind of discrimination, especially among the young, who have gay friends and family, who are increasingly irreligious, is both ugly and obvious. It is simply not the way to behave In the wedding industry.

  • The_Wretched

    Is “Lonergan Research” a reputable firm?

  • Gerry Fisher

    As a quick, general, off-the-cuff question in a poll, this response can make sense to ill-informed people. Start giving them examples, and they’ll see that it’s not workable to have people denying services willy nilly.

  • netxtown

    I’m ok with it – as long as it is posted in clear and plain sight at the main entrance. If they don’t want to serve ‘my kind’ – fine. Just don’t put me in the position of having to publicly berate the fucking bigot.

  • Mike

    Businesses should have the right to refuse same-sex weddings on religious grounds
    Businesses should have the right to refuse anyone and anything on religious grounds
    Businesses (bakeries, lunch counters, pharmacies, hospitals, supermarkets, and so on, ad infinitum, should have the right to refuse YOU on religious grounds.

    Be careful what you wish for and what you vote for.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    As I’ve said before, if this is how they want to be play this game, then do so openly by placing a sign like the one below prominently in the front window of your business. That way the public can have an informed choice as to where to spend their money. Surely they couldn’t balk at the idea, after all, if they’re so committed to their principles, letting the public know should be of no concern whatsoever….right Christians? right bigots???

  • DaveMiller135

    Well, first off, Marriage Equality obviously. Also, but OT, feeling a strange desire for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. Maybe “Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds Cashew.”

  • Tor

    Is fewer than a thousand people a representative sampling?

    • agcons

      It can be, given due diligence with participant selection. More is better, to a point: too large a sample and it can take too long to collect and organise the results in a timely manner. The polls I remember from my youth (1970s) were around 1100 or 1200.

      Using only online responses from their FaceBook page does not demonstrate due diligence, I’d say.

    • leastyebejudged

      Usually the margin for error is disclosed.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    WTF Australia?

  • Sam

    My religious views are that religion is a cancer on society and I want no part in it. So that means I can refuse service to anyone based on their religious views. Right?

  • James


  • The anti-gay brigade appears to be suffering from confusion here.

    For a marriage to be legal in Australia, only three people are required: the couple getting married and the marriage celebrant, a person licensed by the Attorney-General’s Department to officiate at marriage ceremonies. It is usual for there to be witnesses (at least one) but their role is limited to witnessing that the ceremony has taken place.

    The ceremony having been performed, the celebrant prepares three copies of a Certificate of Marriage, signed by him/herself, both members of the newly-wedded couple, and the witness(es). One is given to the couple, one is kept by the celebrant for his/her own records, and the third is lodged with the registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the State or Territory in which the marriage took place.

    Now, it is not uncommon in Oz for marriages to be conducted by clergypersons, but they must apply to the Attorney-General’s Department for registration as Marriage Celebrants and cannot legally conduct marriage ceremonies until they are registered and licensed. The only concession is that they are not obliged to undergo the normally required training and pass the examinations that other Celebrants are. They are, just as bound by the law and the Codes of Practice that apply to all Marriage Celebrants.

    Here is the Queensland Code of Practice: Notice, particularly, Section 4, which prohibits “unlawful discrimination”. At present the provisions of the Commonwealth Anti-Discrimination Act, which forbids discrimination against GLBT people, may be ignored, as SSM is still illegal. When that changes, those provisions will apply. And the religious right will squeal, just as they did when the Act was first passed…

    Notice, too, that once the ceremony has taken place, the wedding is over. Any post-wedding party the newly-wed couple might choose to throw — whether immediately afterwards or at some other time or place — is not part of the wedding; and cake-makers, florists, photographers and their ilk cannot claim that providing their services makes them participants in it; not can they legally refuse to provide such services on the grounds that it violated their personal religious beliefs. Not that they won’t try, of course — but they’ll be in breach of the various Anti-Discrimination Acts, and even if they don’t find themselves in court they’ll soon find their bottom line suffering.

  • leastyebejudged

    It took three days on the phone to find someone to wed us here in the Reno area, and nobody at the county hall would help us find anybody that would marry us (they legally can’t), but they were sure eager to take our money for the license.

    We had to hire a lady to drive from Carson, the capitol, and were married here at the house, with the mother and sister in-law present.

    I spoke to DOZENS of people on the phone, eager to wed us – until I told them we were a male couple. Kinda ruined the area for me, I really had a very positive view of it before that, but I’m not a church person and had no experience up to that point with dealing with local religious people.

    Those people will NEVER grant us equality. Not ever.

    And I will never do a fucking thing to support ANY them in ANY way – EVER.

    We must take it if we want it.

  • Al Prazolam

    As long as organized religion prevails we will always suffer discrimination. There’s no getting around that. We do indeed have to grab what we can and continue the fight. Perhaps younger people will have more liberal ideas as they grow older. The Supreme Court Colorado baker case is very important because if we lose then we’ll suffer a considerable setback. Marriage equality with discrimination attached is hard to take.