As god famously said, “thou shalt be homophobic bigots whenever possible.” Alright, that may not be a passage you can flip to in your bible, but it is the guiding force behind the Australian conservative push to disrupt marriage equality.
While the marriage equality ballots are still being tallied and the results won’t be announced for a few more days, the conservative movement has already begun work on a Plan B just in case Australians want same-sex marriage legalized, which looks likely.
In a new “conscientious objection” bill, businesses would legally be able to deny services to same-sex couples; ministers and celebrants could refuse to preside over same-sex marriages; and parents could “pull their children out of classes that conflicted with their values, introduce freedom of speech protections for people who spoke out against gay marriage, and introduce an ‘anti-detriment clause’ that would prevent government authorities from taking legal action against an individual ‘with a traditional view of marriage.”
Casual bigotry is still bigotry, by the way, and this bill is just as heartless as the “no” campaign. As the Equality Campaign’s Anna Brown explained: “This is not a marriage equality bill. It’s about enshrining discrimination and taking Australia back decades. Australians are voting to make our country a fairer and more equal place, not to take us back to a time where people can be denied service at a shop.”