Johnny Howard Wants Laws Protecting Those Who Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

Former prime minister John Howard has thrown his hat into the ring regarding the upcoming – and some would argue pointless – same-sex marriage plebiscite, reiterating his opposition to marriage equality and arguing that we ought to make some laws to protect people who recoil at the idea of the gays marrying.

After suggesting that he thought most MPs would vote for it if the plebiscite passed, Howard reiterated his fears about religious freedom.
“I do think one thing that has to be addressed is the question of proper protection of religious freedom, and freedom of conscience in relation to people who might in a tangential way be affected by this,” he said.
This is the kinda discourse that has emerged in the United States, with paralysing fears among conservatives that jackbooted government soldiers will force bakers to make cakes for gay weddings, or something like that.
Both Labor and the Coalition agree that churches and other religious institutions should not be forced to officiate same-sex marriages, which is fine. No point in going down that path legally – you’d be better off changing religious doctrine.
But the Coalition – specifically Attorney General George Brandis – have not ruled out laws that would protect these ‘tangentially affected’ folks like wedding photographers and venue owners.
Johnny Howard, who made the changes to the Marriage Act which specifically prohibit same-sex marriage, is just flexing his shitty old beliefs from outside the halls of power. But it’s worth considering that the Coalition’s hard right still hold ’em – expect to hear a lot more about these people who are victimised by other people getting married.
Source: The Guardian.
Photo: Getty Images.