MPs approve bill tackling anti gay marriage registrars

Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Original article:

A majority in the lower house have voted in favour of a Green Left sponsored bill that will force all marriage registrars to marry same-sex couples. The measure was passed by 84 votes in favour and 58 against.

Until now, registrars who objected on religious grounds were allowed to refuse to marry same-sex couples. However, because marriage registrars are civil servants, they are bound by the country's anti-discrimination legislation and must therefore marry same-sex couples even if they object.

If the Senate approves the bill, it will end the practice of tolerating discrimination against lesbians and gays. It is uncertain if the bill will make it through the Senate as the Christian Democrats and the SGP-a small fundamentalist Christian party-are sympathetic towards civil servants who claim an exemption to the law on religious grounds.

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