The ‘No’ Crew Is Pivoting To Ensure Churches Are Still Free To Discriminate

Outspoken members of the failed ‘No’ campaign against marriage equality have given their takes in the immediate aftermath of their loss, vowing to continue their attempt to… well, effectively stifle Australia’s societal progress.

Lyle Shelton, head of the Australian Christian Lobby and prominent ‘No’ campaigner, told Sky News that he accepts the result of the postal vote and what it means for marriage equality in Australia.

However, he said his campaign fell short due ’cause ‘Yes’ campaigners have been standing up for equality for yonks. (This, despite the fact the ‘No’ campaign received stacks more media coverage during the run-in.)

He also went on to expound on the importance of “religious freedom,” which, in this context, boils down to the ability of churches and businesses associated to weddings to tell queer couples to jog on.

Tony Abbott, one of the campaign’s most insistent supporters and the bloke who first suggested we have a bloody plebiscite on this issue in the first place, says “the people have spoken and, of course, the parliament should respect the result.”

In a statement posted to Facebook, Abbott says he’d back a marriage equality bill put forward by Liberal Dean Smith, pending amendments to ensure “freedom of conscience for all, not just the churches” involved in actual same-sex weddings.

That further suggests Senator James Paterson’s bill, which straight-up advocated for various facets of discrimination to be protected by Australian law, is unlikely to crawl out of the dank sewer from whence it came.

Any attempts to protect the ability to tell queer couples to go elsewhere will have to be less brazen, then.

Speaking of discrimination, MP Kevin Andrews – who made headlines for his seemingly pathological misunderstanding of queer relationships – also told Sky News he hoped Australia would move to protect the right of religious institutions to discriminate against some couples hoping to marry.

When pressed, he straight-up admitted he’d be down with Muslim bakers denying their products to Jewish customers.

Like, damn, dude.

Conservative senator Cory Bernardi has also spoken to ABC Radio in Adelaide, wringing his hands about the Catholic clergy hypothetically threatened by same-sex couples who insist they receive Catholic nuptials.

All in all, it’s a resounding victory for the ‘Yes’ crew – and the ‘No’ crew will have to accept that, at times, the Australian populace can be far, far more progressive than they’d like.

Still, these folks will still try their hardest to eke as many protections as humanly possible into whatever marriage equality bill makes it through parliament.