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Focus Turns to Religious Freedom after Yes Vote

Last edited 16th November 2017

Focus Turns to Religious Freedom after Yes Vote

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has cleared the ground for a compromise that aims to protect religious freedom, as he vows to pass laws by Christmas.

Federal parliament acted swiftly to start debate on the new marriage laws, with Attorney-General George Brandis offering to toughen protections for free speech and assuage the fears of No voters who object to the contentious change.

The Yes case secured a majority in all states and in 133 of the nation’s 150 federal electorates, with 7.8 million people voting for change and 4.9 million voting against. The Prime Minister declared the outcome a victory for “commitment and love” and cited the 79.5 per cent response rate as vindication of his election pledge to take the decision to the people. Bill Shorten told a rally that the nation had voted for diversity to be “accepted, supported and respected” in a modern Australia.

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, said a change in civil law did not change the Catholic understanding of the nature of marriage, and parliament must work to unify Australians by respecting different views on marriage.

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