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Will civil celebrants be forced to marry gay couples?

With gay marriage now legal in Australia, the question remains whether the law will affect religious freedoms.

A review into religious protections begins today and is headed by former Liberal frontbencher Philip Ruddock.

The panel will make a decision on how much freedom celebrants can have in supporting same-sex couples.

Sydney Universty Professor of Law, Patrick Parkinson tells Michael McLaren whether civil celebrants will be forced to marry same-sex couples.

He says those listed as religious civil celebrants before December 2017 will be able to opt out of same-sex marriages.

“The ones who were already on the list in December 2017 before the amendments were made…have an entitlement to exercise freedom of conscience.”

However, he says next generation of celebrates won’t be able to.

“That was an unnecessary restriction on religious freedom. We can live and let live and allow people to honour their beliefs and values.

“One of the things the committee will have to look at is whether there’s a better way of protecting religious freedoms.”

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Michael McLaren