Parents losing the right to object to gay sex education, workers being sacked for expressing an opinion and bakers taken to court over cake.
With opinion polls pointing to a resounding ‘Yes’ vote result on Wednesday, conservative federal politicians have painted a troubling picture of Australia if same-sex marriage is legalised.
Even Labor senators are worried, with several backbenchers planning to vote against any gay marriage bill on religious freedom grounds, to the chagrin of their party leader Bill Shorten.
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Maverick Queensland crossbencher Bob Katter is so worried about parents losing the right to object to their children being taught the Safe Schools program under gay marriage he wants the law changed.
The Katter’s Australian Party leader and renegade Nationals MP George Christensen, a fellow Queenslander, are working on a parliamentary bill that would give parents the right to pull their kids out of the controversial gender theory lessons.
Mr Katter, who holds the vast far-north Queensland seat of Kennedy, said the legalisation of same-sex marriage would force children into learning about gay sex and relationships.
‘I don’t want anyone to underestimate the damage that is being done here to the people of Australia,’ federal parliament’s longest-serving MP told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday night from Mareeba, south-west of Cairns.
‘It opens the way for them to teach same-sex marriage in school.
Bob Katter is concerned the legislation of gay marriage could see workers sacked for a view
‘There are people preaching and teaching, and I use the word “preaching” before I use the word “teaching”, because there are some very aggressive people involved in the homosexual movement in Australia. There are huge, grave dangers there.’
Mr Katter said the teaching of homosexuality in schools would cause lifelong damage to students.
‘You are very vulnerable at that age,’ he said.
‘Unfortunately and sadly, these kids in the 12 to 15 age bracket are influenced to go down that pathway, they’re looking at a much darker life than they would otherwise have.’
Mr Katter, who has been a state or federal MP since 1974, is also worried about workers falling foul of state anti-discrimination laws, and losing their jobs, for expressing an opinion critical of gay relationships.
‘It was never about giving people a fair go, it was all about punishing people that had different beliefs … if a person thinks differently about homosexuality,’ he said.
Nationals senator John Williams fears bakers will be sued for refusing to bake for gay nuptials
New South Wales Nationals Senator John ‘Wacka’ Williams is worried about bakers being sued if they refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.
‘They might be hugely Christian, they don’t believe in same-sex marriage, they refuse to bake the cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony or reception and hence they get sued,’ the farmer from Inverell told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Likewise, if it’s a same-sex couple have a bakery and they don’t want to bake a cake for the heterosexual marriage, I don’t want them getting sued either.’
Liberal senator James Pateron says bakers should have be allowed to refuse to bake gay wedding cakes, and is putting forward a rival bill
West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith, who is gay, is proposing a same-sex marriage bill that would only give anti-discrimination exemptions to churches and religious groups
Victorian Liberal senator James Paterson is proposing a bill that would give bakers and florists the right to refuse to provide goods or services for a same-sex wedding.
‘A baker could not refuse to bake a cake for someone who is gay who’s having a birthday but they could decline to provide services to their wedding,’ he told the ABC’s 7.30 program on Monday night.
‘So it’s very limited and narrow. It’s only about a wedding and that’s in recognition that weddings are different from other things.
‘People hold very strong views about it.’
It’s a rival bill to one being proposed by West Australian gay Liberal senator Dean Smith, which would only give exemptions to church and religious groups when it comes to performing a same-sex wedding.
Tasmanian Labor senator Helen Polley wants to ensure churches aren’t sued for expressing a view against gay marriage, as happened in her home state in 2015
Tasmanian Labor senator Helen Polley, who voted ‘No’ in the $122 million gay marriage postal vote survey, is concerned about protecting religious freedom.
‘We certainly need protections around religious freedoms so that we can avoid anti-discrimination cases like we saw in Tasmania against Archbishop Julian Porteous and the Australian Catholic Bishops in 2015,’ she said about the case that was withdrawn last year.
Labor senator Deborah O’Neill, who hails from the NSW Central Coast, said she reserved the right to vote against a gay marriage bill, even though her boss Bill Shorten is in favour of redefining marriage.
‘I will be exercising my conscience vote that I am entitled to in the Labor Party and I will be making that decision when the time comes,’ she said.
Central Coast-based NSW Labor senator Deborah O’Neill may vote against gay marriage