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Tuesday, 28 November 2017
Page: 8974

Senator RICE (Victoria) (13:10): I want to return to proposed clause 5AD. Senator Fawcett responded but didn't answer my question, other than to say that celebrants would be able to discriminate on the basis of whatever conscientious beliefs that they may have. This section says:

… the authorised celebrant may disregard the current legal status of the other person's sex or gender, or their gender identity or intersex status.

I want to go to a personal example. As most people in this chamber know, my wife, Penny, and I have been married for 31 years. She's a transwoman. Does this amendment mean that, if we had chosen not to marry 31 years ago, which we might not have done—my two sisters didn't get married and they've lived with their partners for an equally long time—and we wanted to get married now and we approached a celebrant, they would be able to look at us and say, 'Oh,' and perhaps having heard of our history and had knowledge that Penny is a transwoman, they would be able to blatantly and quite discriminatingly say, 'No, we're not going to marry you'? Can I confirm, Senator Fawcett, that that is what would flow from this amendment?