Paterson’s bill a sensible protection for parental rights
Wendy Harmer and Adam Gartrell pulled out their gay marriage crystal ball on ABC radio on Monday to declare “it’s clear we’re going to get a yes vote on Wednesday — it’s just a matter of how big”. Hubris much? They were bagging Liberal senator James Paterson’s bill to protect freedom of speech and religion in the event of a Yes win: “It allows anyone who doesn’t like homosexuals to discriminate against them.” No, it does no such thing. The Paterson bill balances competing rights to ensure that no one would be compelled to participate in a same-sex wedding against their beliefs, and it protects people who hold a traditional view of marriage from being sacked or refused funding by government. What it means is that parents who don’t want their kids being taught Safe Schools gender/queer theory will have the right to remove them from class.
Exclusive polling from the Coalition for Marriage shows that’s what the majority of Australians want, too. The poll of 5000 people last Thursday found 65 per cent do not want primary school children to be exposed to Safe Schools-type sex education.
Almost two in three also were against “making this type of education about gender compulsory in the school curriculum, and every child, with or without parental consent, being required to attend”.
In other words, parents want to retain the right to teach their values to their children. This is what the Paterson bill protects.
We’ll know at 10am today if it’s needed.