ACL enters SA marriage debate

ACL enters SA marriage debate

LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 14 November 2012 11:12 Written by // Alex Dunkin

ADELAIDE: The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has written to their supporters urging them to ask South Australian state MPs to reject the push for same-sex marriage.

South Australian Greens MLC Tammy Franks’ bill is currently before the Upper House but won’t be going to vote until next year.

ACL managing director Jim Wallace (pictured) told supporters in his letter that religious freedom and freedom of speech will be impacted if same-sex marriage is legislated for.

“Parliamentarians in Canberra and Tasmania have voted decisively to keep marriage the way it is. Not content, the Greens have now moved their campaign to redefine marriage to the South Australian Parliament,” he said.

“Your activism in the Federal debate made a difference. Unfortunately we can't afford to let up.

“Please email your Upper House members today and urge them to resist attempts in the South Australian Parliament to redefine marriage.”

Wallace insisted ACL supporters remind their local MPs that marriage is not something state governments can legislate for.

“Points you might consider include: marriage is a Federal issue. Same-sex marriage was emphatically rejected by the Federal Parliament. A state going alone would likely trigger a High Court challenge,” he said.

“Changing the definition of marriage means children will have to be taught that homosexuality is the same as heterosexuality in school. Changing the definition of marriage in law will bring pressure on freedom of speech, as the government will have no choice but to treat as discriminatory those who disagree with same-sex marriage.

“Three Parliamentary inquiries have shown that there is no practical discrimination in Australia against same-sex couples. Parliamentarians should be leading the way to ensure our laws provide every opportunity for a child to be raised by its biological mother and father.”

Debate on the same-sex marriage bill continued last month with Family First MLC Dennis Hood expressing his opposition to the push for marriage equality.

“I have come to the very clear and firm view that there are legal hurdles that this bill simply cannot overcome. In simple language the bill is unconstitutional, in my view, and for that reason will be declared invalid,” he said.

“The inescapable fact is that the marriage power given in section 51 of the Commonwealth Constitution has been taken up and used by the Commonwealth Parliament and, as such, the states do not have the power to redefine the word 'marriage' to include same-sex marriage.

“This parliament simply does not have the power to make laws with respect to marriage. If this bill is passed there will undoubtedly be a legal challenge on constitutional grounds.”

Hood reiterated Family First’s position that their opposition to same-sex marriage is in the best interest of children.

“The Family First Party maintains that the family is the building block of society and that marriage is an institution that has served society well,” he said.

“In my view, the greatest consideration should be given to the welfare of children, particularly in the areas of relationships, role modelling and general emotional development.”


Alex Dunkin

Alex Dunkin

Alex Dunkin is a news journalist based in Adelaide. He has been writing on LGBT issues for three years and has represented Australia’s interests on sexual and reproductive health and rights internationally.

Comments (1)

  • Dave

    15 November 2012 at 22:45 |
    The Australian Christian Lobby cult is telling clergy who they can marry, and advocating against the religious freedom of others. Their message is a disgrace to the teachings of Jesus, and belongs in the outer suburbs of Hell. The end game for them seems to be everyone forced to practice the ACL’s version of Christianity. Well where is the religious freedom in that? Where is the freedom at all? I see little difference between the Talibans ravings and that of the ACL cult.


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