Australia: Christian lobby seeks anti-discrimination 'override' for plebiscite campaign

The leading advocates for a "no" vote on same-sex marriage are pushing the federal government to "override" anti-discrimination laws during the upcoming plebiscite campaign. The Australian Christian Lobby are calling for the temporary change to ensure the "no" camp can speak freely during the debate to legalise same-sex marriage.

ACL managing director Lyle Shelton told Fairfax Media his organisation was very concerned about fairness during the campaign as state anti-discrimination laws in particular have "such a low threshold". Mr Shelton warned those who argued against same-sex marriage would be faced with the "constant threat of quasi and full-blown legal action." Anti-discrimination laws vary, but include laws against "any public act that could incite or encourage hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule."

The Law Council of Australia said any exemptions to discriminatory behaviour when it came to marriage equality "should be construed as narrowly as is absolutely necessary": "People cannot use their religious beliefs as an excuse for unlawful discrimination in business and the same principle would apply to public political campaigns," president-elect Fiona McLeod said.  Read more via SMH