Action Alert September 2010

This is an archived edition of Action Alert.

The Push for Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Is Still On

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (Australian Greens – South Australia) is the Greens’ spokesperson on sexuality and gender identity.  On 24 June 2009, she presented a private senator’s bill to the Senate.  Entitled the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009, the proposed bill sought “to remove all discrimination from the Marriage Act 1961 on the basis of sexuality and gender identity and to permit marriage regardless of sex, sexuality and gender identity.”  If passed, this bill would have fully legalised same-sex ‘marriage’ in Australia, and logically open the way for the legal recognition of polyamorous (multiple partners at the same time) relationships.  Wisely, the Senate referred the proposed bill to its Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, which, after receiving extensive public submissions, reported back to the Senate at the end of November 2009 that same-sex ‘marriage’ ought not be legalised in Australia.

Both of the major political parties have publicly committed themselves to retaining the current definition of marriage as between one man and one woman – although both the ALP and the Coalition have individual members who are supportive of same-sex ‘marriage’ – and, while this remains the case, it is not likely that a private member’s bill or private senator’s bill to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’ would successfully pass through the House of Representatives and the Senate.

However, on 2 September 2010, Senator Hanson-Young announced that she would continue to pursue this matter in Parliament.  She said, “The Greens are the only party in the Parliament with a commitment to delivering equal marriage rights for all, and we will push for this in the next parliamentary term, regardless of who forms Government.  Our commitment on this issue is second to none.”  She then announced, “I will re-introduce my Marriage Equality Bill on the first day of the new Parliament, and will continue to pressure both sides of politics to grant their members a conscious vote on this important issue.” 

Senator Hanson-Young’s comments came after the Australian Greens had indicated that they would support a minority Labor Government, but before the three so-called ‘country independents’ had made their decisions as to whether they would support a minority Labor Government or a minority Coalition Government.  Now that two of the three ‘country independents’ have indicated their support for a minority Labor Government, and Labor has been returned to government with Julia Gillard as Prime Minister, the Australian Greens will be able to exert further pressure on the issue of legalising same-sex ‘marriage’.  Senator Hanson-Young stated, “The fact that an agreement could not be reached with the Labor Party on equal marriage and other Green policy priorities does not preclude the Greens from continuing to promote these issues.  In fact, the agreement expressly notes this.”

So, despite the commitment from both major political parties to not legalise same-sex ‘marriage’, and despite the lengthy inquiry by the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee in the second half of 2009, and despite the large number of public submissions to the Committee’s inquiry that opposed any change to the Marriage Act 1961, Senator Hanson-Young (and the Australian Greens as a whole) want to go though the process again.  Obviously, they were not happy with the outcome last time – because one of their party’s policies is to provide ‘marriage equality’ for all – and so Senator Hanson-Young is going to try again.  Sarah Hanson-Young is not same-sex herself – she is married and has a family – but Senator Bob Brown, the Australian Greens’ parliamentary leader, is in a long-term same-sex relationship and this may be one the reasons that the Australian Greens are so committed to changing the social fabric of our nation on this issue.

Contact Senator Sarah Hanson-Young [Senate, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 2600, or email by going to the website www.aph.gov.au/Senate/senators and following the prompts, or by telephoning (02) 62773430] to politely express your opposition to the concept of same-sex ‘marriage’ and to urge her (and the Australian Greens as a whole) to not pursue this issue in Parliament.  Point out that the 2001 Census revealed that only 0.46% of all couples in Australia were same-sex ‘couples’ and that we risk doing great damage to the fabric of our society if we were to change the Marriage Act 1961 to allow ‘marriage’ for that small percentage of people.  Even if all of those same-sex ‘couples’ wanted to be ‘married’ – and that, in itself, is not the case – the actual numbers do not warrant changing the law and weakening the institution of marriage.

Contact Julia Gillard, Prime Minister [PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 2600, or phone (02) 62777700, or email at the website http://pm.gov.au/PM_Connect/Email_your_PM].  Congratulate her on her re-appointment as Prime Minister, and ask her for a re-assurance that she will continue to oppose the legalisation of same-sex ‘marriage’, especially in light of the fact that her ALP Government now needs the support of the Greens.

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Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?
Psalm 94:16

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This monthly release is prepared by Pastor Brian Robertson (P O Box 2367, Bundaberg, 4670) to inform Christian people about issues within our society.  “Action Alert” does not promote any one political party, but encourages its readers to be “salt and light” by speaking out on some of these matters.  The views expressed in “Action Alert” are those of the author and are not necessarily those of a local church or a denominational organisation.  To the extent permissible by law, no church or denomination accepts liability for anything contained in this publication and any use made of it.