Pater­son’s bill a sen­si­ble pro­tec­tion for parental rights

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Opinion -

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.

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