Coalition Senator Dean Smith

One by one, the marriage equality amendments went down, yesterday. Division by division, the dead-enders lost. And not just lost narrowly. They were thumped, time and time again. Mostly they were amendments from Liberal senators David Fawcett and James Paterson, trying to shoehorn into Dean Smith's marriage equality bill provisions protecting those prepared to act on their dislike of same-sex relationships. Civil celebrants would be allowed to refuse same-sex couples. Opponents of marriage equality would have an unmitigated right to "manifest that belief". Parents would be allowed to withdraw their children from classes where marriage equality was mentioned. Other, more minor, amendments followed.