Australia

Jewish bakers should be able to refuse service to Muslims: Liberal MP

Kevin Andrews has argued that Jewish and Muslim bakers should be able to refuse services to couples of the other faith.

Liberal MP Kevin Andrews says a Jewish baker should be able to refuse to serve a Muslim couple and vice versa.

He made the comments while arguing bakers should be able to refuse services to same-sex couples for a wedding if they held a religious view against same-sex marriage.

Asked if a Jewish baker should be able to deny a Muslim couple a cake, he said: “Why not?”.

“This goes to fundamental religious beliefs and beliefs of conscience and it's only in relation to that,” he told Sky News on Tuesday after the Yes result in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey was handed down.

“I don’t have a problem with that, I don’t have a problem at all.”

Mr Andrews argued a Muslim supplier could already make decisions on the types of products they sold, such as halal goods.

“So we already accept this in relation to other services being provided,” he said.

“It’s only in relation to a wedding ceremony itself that we’re talking about.

“It’s not just somebody walking off the street and saying, ‘I want to buy a cake’, and you say, ‘Oh no you can’t buy a cake, so it’s restricted to that’.”

Mr Andrews, an advocate of the No vote, said he preferred Liberal Senator James Paterson’s private member's bill to legalise same-sex marriage which would give bakers, jewellers and florists the right to refuse to provide services for same-sex weddings.

He said Liberal Senator Dean Smith's bill was “grossly inadequate". That bill would allow religious organisations including churches to refuse to marry same-sex couples.