The Act enabling SSM in Australia exempted ministers of religion, whose faith opposes homosexual marriage, from having to officiate at such weddings. It did not exempt laypeople with the same religious beliefs from having to participate in such marriages. Everyone, clergy and lay alike, should be free not to be involved in SSM events. In practical terms, that includes the freedom to withhold services for an SSM wedding whether it be catering, printing, photography or venue hire and the like. The Act was persecutory of religious freedom in potentially forcing individuals, whose religious beliefs strongly oppose homosexual marriage, to participate in it through compulsory provision of their services.

In a democratic society which values freedoms including religious freedom, a person should not be forced to participate in an activity which offends his/her genuine religious or conscientious convictions.

Equally, parents should have the right to exempt their children from educational programs promoting SSM.

Read the complete AJA submission here:

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