TO whom it may concern.
I am writing about concerns I have over the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017.
The preamble to the constitution states " whereas the people of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God,...... suggests that the founding fathers of this nation thought it important that God was a part of the process of this nation building.
However under Section 116 of the constitution although it precludes the Commonwealth of Australia from making laws for establishing any religion, imposing any religious observance, or prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, if does not preclude the states of Australia from making such laws.
I am a Christian, who believes in the bible and that God made man and woman to be bound by marriage for amongst other things, the procreation of children. That they would raise those children to know their identity under God and enjoy their human rights proscribed under law in this country.
I have great concerns now that under this new legislation that I may now offend the law and because the States have ability to make laws under Section 116 that the Commonwealth has no exercise over, may have no recourse to justice.
I would like to voice my concerns and ask that either Section 116 be tightened up so that these loop holes cannot occur or that legislation is put into place that makes implicit " that religious freedoms cannot be prohibited".
things I believe now offend against the law and based on the ruling above – there is no immunity, privilege or right supporting my freedom to believe these things which are a key part of my religion. This gives me great concern and I look forward to understanding whether my rights to religious freedom have been expunged by the law redefining Marriage.
Section 116 of the Constitution of Australia precludes the Commonwealth of Australia (i.e., the federal parliament) from making laws for establishing any religion, imposing any religious observance, or prohibiting the free exercise of any religion. Section 116 also provides that no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth. The product of a compromise in the pre-Federation constitutional conventions, Section 116 is based on similar provisions in the United States Constitution. However, Section 116 is more narrowly drafted than its US counterpart, and does not preclude the states of Australia from making such laws.