The majority voted in favour of not disagreeing with an amendment introduced by Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie (Centre Alliance). However, this doesn't mean the amendment passed. Instead, another vote will take place on whether the House actually agrees with the amendment (rather than simply agreeing to not disagree with it).

There were five rebellions, with Bass MP Bridget Archer (Liberal), Reid MP Fiona Martin (Liberal), North Sydney MP Trent Zimmerman (Liberal), Higgins MP Katie Allen (Liberal) and Wentworth MP Dave Sharma (Liberal) crossing the floor to vote 'No' against the rest of their party, who voted 'Yes.'

What would this amendment do?

MP Sharkie explained that:

This amendment repeals subsection 38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act. Repealing subsection 38 (3) will remove the exception that allows religious educational institutions to discriminate in connection with the provision of education or training. This is a small amendment in size but is an incredibly important amendment. It will go some way towards protecting LGBTQIA students from sex and gender discrimination in religious educational institutions.

Amendment text

(3) Schedule 1, page 6 (after line 10), at the end of the Schedule, add:

10 At the end of section 37


(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(d), it is unlawful for an educational institution that is conducted in accordance with the doctrines, tenets, beliefs or teachings of a particular religion or creed to discriminate against a student or prospective student on the ground of the student's or prospective student's sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or relationship status or pregnancy.

11 Subsection 38(3)

Repeal the subsection.

What does the bill do?

According to the bill homepage, the bill was introduced with the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 and Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021 in order to amend the following bills:

  • Age Discrimination Act 2004,
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992,
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

The bill's amendments will ensure that, when enforcing these bills:

regard must be had to the indivisibility and universality of human rights and their equal status in international law, and the principle that every person is free and equal in their dignity and rights.

The bill also amends the Charities Act 2013 and Marriage Act 1961 in order to ensure that:

to provide that otherwise charitable entities that engage in lawful activities promoting a traditional view of marriage are undertaking those activities for the public benefit and not contrary to public policy; and to allow religious educational institutions to refuse to provide facilities, goods or services in relation to the solemnisation of a marriage in accordance with their religious beliefs.

SBS News has provided a good summary of the more controversial parts of the bill, including an explanation for each rebellion that occurred during the long debate. According to this summary, the key areas for concern were:

  • the parts of the bill that allowed religious schools to discriminate on the basis of sexuality and gender identity;
  • the "statement of belief" that seems to protect people expressing religious beliefs even if they're offensive and therefore seem to override existing anti-discrimination protections; and
  • the fact that the bill does not outlaw vilification of people of faith.

Votes Not passed by a small majority

There were 5 rebellions in this division.

  • Katie Allen voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
  • Bridget Archer voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
  • Fiona Martin voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
  • Dave Sharma voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
  • Trent Zimmerman voted No against the majority of the Liberal Party.
Party Votes
Adam Bandt Melbourne Australian Greens No
Australian Labor Party (81% turnout) 0 Yes 55 No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler No
Chris Bowen McMahon No
Tony Burke Watson No
Linda Burney Barton No
Josh Burns Macnamara No
Terri Butler Griffith No
Anthony Byrne Holt No
Jim Chalmers Rankin No
Jason Clare Blaxland No
Sharon Claydon Newcastle No
Libby Coker Corangamite No
Julie Collins Franklin No
Pat Conroy Shortland No
Milton Dick Oxley No
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs No
Justine Elliot Richmond No
Mike Freelander Macarthur No
Steve Georganas Adelaide No
Andrew Giles Scullin No
Patrick Gorman Perth No
Luke Gosling Solomon No
Chris Hayes Fowler No
Julian Hill Bruce No
Ed Husic Chifley No
Stephen Jones Whitlam No
Ged Kearney Cooper No
Peter Khalil Wills No
Catherine King Ballarat No
Madeleine King Brand No
Andrew Leigh Fenner No
Richard Marles Corio No
Kristy McBain Eden-Monaro No
Emma McBride Dobell No
Brian Mitchell Lyons No
Rob Mitchell McEwen No
Shayne Neumann Blair No
Brendan O'Connor Gorton No
Clare O'Neil Hotham No
Julie Owens Parramatta No
Graham Perrett Moreton No
Fiona Phillips Gilmore No
Amanda Rishworth Kingston No
Michelle Rowland Greenway No
Joanne Ryan Lalor No
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong No
David Smith Bean No
Warren Snowdon Lingiari No
Anne Stanley Werriwa No
Meryl Swanson Paterson No
Susan Templeman Macquarie No
Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith No
Kate Thwaites Jagajaga No
Tim Watts Gellibrand No
Anika Wells Lilley No
Tony Zappia Makin No
Anne Aly Cowan Absent
Sharon Bird Cunningham Absent
Mark Butler Hindmarsh Absent
Nick Champion Spence Absent
Lisa Chesters Bendigo Absent
Joel Fitzgibbon Hunter Absent
Matt Keogh Burt Absent
Daniel Mulino Fraser Absent
Peta Murphy Dunkley Absent
Alicia Payne Canberra Absent
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Absent
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Absent
Josh Wilson Fremantle Absent
Rebekha Sharkie Mayo Centre Alliance No
Mark Coulton Parkes Deputy Speaker Yes
Craig Kelly Hughes Independent Yes
Helen Haines Indi Independent No
Zali Steggall Warringah Independent No
Andrew Wilkie Clark Independent No
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Yes
Liberal National Party (80% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Angie Bell Moncrieff Yes
Garth Hamilton Groom Yes
Julian Simmonds Ryan Yes
Phillip Thompson Herbert Yes
Terry Young Longman Absent
Liberal Party (81% turnout) 39 Yes 5 No
John Alexander Bennelong Yes
Karen Andrews McPherson Yes
Kevin Andrews Menzies Yes
Russell Broadbent Monash Yes
Scott Buchholz Wright Yes
Peter Dutton Dickson Yes
Warren Entsch Leichhardt Yes
Trevor Evans Brisbane Yes
Jason Falinski Mackellar Yes
Paul Fletcher Bradfield Yes
Nicolle Flint Boothby Yes
Josh Frydenberg Kooyong Yes
Ian Goodenough Moore Yes
Alex Hawke Mitchell Yes
Luke Howarth Petrie Yes
Greg Hunt Flinders Yes
Steve Irons Swan Yes
Andrew Laming Bowman Yes
Sussan Ley Farrer Yes
Nola Marino Forrest Yes
Melissa McIntosh Lindsay Yes
Scott Morrison Cook Yes
Ben Morton Tangney Yes
Ted O'Brien Fairfax Yes
Tony Pasin Barker Yes
Gavin Pearce Braddon Yes
Christian Porter Pearce Yes
Rowan Ramsey Grey Yes
Tony Smith Casey Yes
James Stevens Sturt Yes
Michael Sukkar Deakin Yes
Angus Taylor Hume Yes
Bert Van Manen Forde Yes
Ross Vasta Bonner Yes
Lucy Wicks Robertson Yes
Rick Wilson O'Connor Yes
Tim Wilson Goldstein Yes
Jason Wood La Trobe Yes
Ken Wyatt Hasluck Yes
Katie Allen Higgins No
Bridget Archer Bass No
Fiona Martin Reid No
Dave Sharma Wentworth No
Trent Zimmerman North Sydney No
David Coleman Banks Absent
Vince Connelly Stirling Absent
Celia Hammond Curtin Absent
Andrew Hastie Canning Absent
Julian Leeser Berowra Absent
Gladys Liu Chisholm Absent
Melissa Price Durack Absent
Stuart Robert Fadden Absent
Dan Tehan Wannon Absent
Alan Tudge Aston Absent
National Party (80% turnout) 12 Yes 0 No
Darren Chester Gippsland Yes
Pat Conaghan Cowper Yes
Damian Drum Nicholls Yes
David Gillespie Lyne Yes
Kevin Hogan Page Yes
Barnaby Joyce New England Yes
Michelle Landry Capricornia Yes
David Littleproud Maranoa Yes
Michael McCormack Riverina Yes
Llew O'Brien Wide Bay Yes
Ken O'Dowd Flynn Yes
Keith Pitt Hinkler Yes
George Christensen Dawson Absent
Andrew Gee Calare Absent
Anne Webster Mallee Absent
Andrew Wallace Fisher Speaker Absent
Craig Kelly Hughes United Australia Party Absent
Totals (81% turnout) 58 Yes – 65 No