About this inquiry

On 30 November 2016, the Senate resolved to establish the Select Committee on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill to inquire into the Commonwealth Government’s exposure draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill.

The committee is due to report on or by 15 February 2017.

Please read the terms of reference carefully before making your submission. The committee has resolved that it will only accept submissions strictly addressing its terms of reference, with a particular focus on the following areas:

  • the proposed exemptions in the Exposure Draft for ministers of religion, marriage celebrants and religious bodies and organisations to refuse to conduct or solemnise marriages, and the extent to which those exemptions prevent encroachment upon religious freedoms; 
  • the nature and effect of the proposed amendment to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984;
  • whether there should be any consequential amendments to this bill, or any other Act, and, if so, the nature and effect of those consequential amendments.

Substantive submissions that explore the technical aspects of the terms of reference will be published, however the committee does not have the resources or time to consider short statements expressing support either for or against same-sex marriage.  As such, these statements will be treated as correspondence and not published.

The committee has also resolved that it will not publish form or campaign letters, or petitions, received to the inquiry.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 13 January 2017. 



Past Public Hearings

25 Jan 2017: Canberra, ACT
24 Jan 2017: Sydney, NSW
23 Jan 2017: Melbourne, VIC

more...

Report

Report on the Commonwealth Government's Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill

15 February 2017

© Commonwealth of Australia 2017
ISBN 978-1-76010-525-9

View the report as a single document - (PDF 685KB)


View the report as separate downloadable parts:

Committee Membership (PDF 23KB)
Chair's foreword (PDF 10KB)
Executive Summary (PDF 27KB)

Areas of consensus
Areas for further discussion

A summary of issues requiring careful consideration (PDF 22KB)

Definition of 'marriage'
Exemption for ministers of religion
Exemption for marriage celebrants
Exemption for a religious body or organisation
International jurisprudence on the introduction of same-sex marriage
Goods and services
A right to refuse on the grounds of a conscientious belief
A broader protection of the right to freedom of conscience and religion

Chapter 1 - Introduction (PDF 38KB)

Establishment and terms of reference
Conduct of the inquiry
Terminology
Key provisions of the Exposure Draft
Focus of the inquiry and structure of the report
Note on references

Chapter 2 - Provisions of the Exposure Draft (PDF 193KB)

Definition of 'marriage'
Exemption for ministers of religion
Exemption for marriage celebrants
Exemption for a religious body or organisation
Consequential amendments to the Exposure Draft

Chapter 3 - Compliance with Australia's international obligations (PDF 234KB)

Human Rights Obligations
Human Rights engaged by the marriage debate
International jurisprudence on the introduction of same-sex marriage
Right to marry
Right to freedom from discrimination
Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
A right to refuse on religious grounds, but only for same-sex marriages
Goods and services
A right to refuse on the grounds of a conscientious belief

Additional Comments (PDF 109KB)

Introduction
Rights of the Child
International Law
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Religion
Conclusion

Appendix 1 - Submissions and additional information received by the committee (PDF 35KB)

Submissions received
Form letters received
Tabled documents
Answers to questions on notice
Additional information

Appendix 2 - Public hearings (PDF 15KB)

Committee Secretariat contact:

Senior Clerk's Office
Department of the Senate
PO Box 6100
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 3555
Fax: 02 6277 3899
seniorclerk.committees.sen@aph.gov.au

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