About this committee

PLEASE NOTE: The Select Committee on the Select Committee on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill has completed its work. With the tabling of the committee’s final report on 15 February 2017, the committee has formally ceased to exist. 


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. 



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

Terms of Reference

That a select committee to be known as the Select Committee on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill be established to inquire into and report on, by 13 February 2017, the Commonwealth Government’s exposure draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill, with particular reference to:

(a)     the nature and effect of proposed exemptions for ministers of religion, marriage celebrants and religious bodies and organisations, the extent to which those exemptions prevent encroachment upon religious freedoms, and the Commonwealth Government’s justification for the proposed exemptions;  

(b)     the nature and effect of the proposed amendment to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Commonwealth Government’s justification for it; 

(c)     potential amendments to improve the effect of the bill and the likelihood of achieving the support of the Senate; and

(d)     whether there are to be any consequential amendments, and, if so, the nature and effect of those consequential amendments, and the Commonwealth Government’s justification for them.

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