Judas kiss

Recent talk of a “Christian vote” (“‘Judas kiss’ will cost PM”, The Australian, 5/9) suggests it is time for a reminder of what kind of polity we live in. The Australian Constitution both protects private religious freedom, and excludes religions from public favour. In a secular nation, it is not a valid ambition for religious groups to influence government action on the basis of religious beliefs.

Self-styled “Pastor” Matt Prater is entitled to his views on gay marriage, but in so far as they are religious doctrine, they can have no bearing on any government’s treatment of the issue of legal equality. Discussions of what a particular religious text says or doesn’t say about homosexuality are entertaining enough on Q&A, but can have no place in parliament.

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