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Section 47 - exempts religious celebrants

Australian Marriage Act 1961. Section - 47 

47 Ministers of religion may refuse to solemnise marriages

Refusing to solemnise a marriage despite this Part

(1) A minister of religion may refuse to solemnise a marriage despite anything in this Part.

(2) In particular, nothing in this Part prevents a minister of religion from:

(a) making it a condition of solemnising a marriage that:

(i) notice of the intended marriage is given to the minister earlier than this Act requires; or

(ii) additional requirements to those provided by this Act are complied with; and

(b) refusing to solemnise the marriage if the condition is not observed.

Refusing to solemnise a marriage on the basis of religious beliefs etc.

(3) A minister of religion may refuse to solemnise a marriage despite anything in this Part, if any of the following applies:

(a) the refusal conforms to the doctrines, tenets or beliefs of the religion of the minister’s religious body or religious organisation;

(b) the refusal is necessary to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion;

(c) the minister’s religious beliefs do not allow the minister to solemnise the marriage.

Grounds for refusal not limited by this section

(4) This section does not limit the grounds on which a minister of religion may refuse to solemnise a marriage.

47A Religious marriage celebrants may refuse to solemnise marriages

(1) A religious marriage celebrant may refuse to solemnise a marriage despite anything in this Part, if the celebrant’s religious beliefs do not allow the celebrant to solemnise the marriage.

Grounds for refusal not limited by this section

(2) This section does not limit the grounds on which a religious marriage celebrant may refuse to solemnise a marriage.

47B Bodies established for religious purposes may refuse to make facilities available or provide goods or services

(1) A body established for religious purposes may refuse to make a facility available, or to provide goods or services, for the purposes of the solemnisation of a marriage, or for purposes reasonably incidental to the solemnisation of a marriage, if the refusal:

(a) conforms to the doctrines, tenets or beliefs of the religion of the body; or

(b) is necessary to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to facilities made available, and goods and services provided, whether for payment or not.

(3) This section does not limit the grounds on which a body established for religious purposes may refuse to make a facility available, or to provide goods or services, for the purposes of the solemnisation of a marriage, or for purposes reasonably incidental to the solemnisation of a marriage.

(4) To avoid doubt, a reference to a body established for religious purposes has the same meaning in this section as it has in section 37 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (1), a purpose is reasonably incidental to the solemnisation of marriage if it is intrinsic to, or directly associated with, the solemnisation of the marriage.

Last modified on Sunday, 10 December 2017 14:58