For release: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
The Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby Jim Wallace is debating Greens Leader Christine Milne on Gay marriage at the University of Tasmania LawFest in Hobart this morning.
In reminding participants of the centrality of truth in law he said:
“Only in cutting through claim and counter claim to truth, can the rights of not just the loudest or the most powerful be guaranteed but the disenfranchised, the most marginalised, those without a voice. In this debate on same sex marriage there is such a voice – it is the voice of the child.”
Please see below a copy of Mr Wallace’s address.
ADDRESS TO THE UTAS LAWFEST
5 SEP 12
Jim Wallace, Managing Director Australian Christian Lobby
Well it’s a great privilege to be able to speak to you today and all the more because what you study, the law is so much at its very heart, its purpose, synonymous with what the Christian faith places central – truth.
And if seeking truth, to know the truth in the myriad of situations the world presents is its motivation, then it is because the law knows that only in truth can justice be found. Only in cutting through claim and counter claim to truth, can the rights of not just the loudest or the most powerful be guaranteed but the disenfranchised, the most marginalised, those without a voice.
In this debate on same sex marriage there is such a voice – it is the voice of the child.
This child has not yet the discernment or knowledge to compete in public debate, it hasn’t the franchise to demand political favour and mandate, instead it relies on the law and its pursuit of truth. It relies on each person making and administering the law to courageously and resolutely hold truth as the higher principal.
In our secular world there is no truth more profound and of more consequence for its breaking, than the biological truth of our origin - that every one of us is conceived by the action of a man and a woman. That that genetic identity is the reason each of us is unique – this is a profound truth, but it goes further.
Unlike animals, we are not born to a mother and a father to meet only the temporary carnal needs of our infancy and to be cast out of the nest or burrow never to be seen again. Our genetic identity is central to our being, of who we are and who we will be. The love and role model of a mother and father, a male and female, are critical to our healthy nourishing and development.
Of course though we don’t live in a perfect world – it’s what Christians instead call a fallen world. It’s this imperfect state that the Church has wrestled with against tyranny and injustice, man’s inhumanity to man in slavery and the civil rights movement, abuse of power even within the Church and today daily on its streets and overseas against poverty and injustice.
This imperfect world also means every child doesn’t have its genetic parents. Some are removed from their genetic parents through death, some tyranny, some sex slavery and some divorce. But in each of these cases the law is called upon to restore a situation always in the best interests of the child, always as close as possible to what was natural. It’s not optional this best interests of the child, it’s demanded by convention and mandated by international convention.
And those best interests are only served by re establishing a situation for that child as close to the biological truth as possible, by providing for the child whose genetic parentage is broken a mother and father.
And not just that, but a mother and father that as much as the law is able to encourage, will love that child and sacrifice for its best interests as willingly as it biological parents should or would have.
Now unfortunately even with the best intent we have done this imperfectly – to the great detriment of children. Those who Jesus put on His knee and said it would be better for you to be cast into the sea with a stone around your neck than to harm one of these.
But this gay activists’ agenda now means that we do it imperfectly intentionally.
In a number of states in Australia even a single man can “get” a child through surrogacy. The child’s inalienable right to a mother sacrificed to the selfish demands of adults for a child nature wouldn’t give them.
Of course there is still a mother, but we have gay activists, including celebrity gay couples, proudly announcing they will never allow the child to know its mother because it’s their “right” to be exclusively its parents.
Their right ! This unnatural right nature never gave them in the most important, most sacred, most beautiful of functions we are blessed to participate in, the conception, nourishing and development in the mother’s womb and then birth of a child.
In the saddest cases of this, the mother who carries this child from nine months is a poor Indian woman, forced by poverty to compromise her motherhood.
But thanks to politics, the support of parties scrambling in this unholy game we’ve turned the great idea of democracy into, politicians have decided to play God and deny a child its natural right and succumb to this selfish and increasingly vitriolic voice of gay activism.
A voice so much louder than the child’s – so much more politically advantageous to satisfy when a child has no vote.
In NSW we have had fathers’ names erased from birth certificates to be replaced by a biological lie of “parent 1” and “parent 2” to satisfy the demands of gay adults.
And of course when you break the most fundamental truth of our very conception and biological identity, you have to build your whole campaign on lies to sustain it – and the campaign to create this lie on birth certificates did just that.
It was argued that children were being bullied because their birth certificates had a father on it when two mums actually picked them up. I ask you, how often you have taken your birth certificate to school, and how even less often have you found it necessary to show it to your friends.
But even more how does this argument hold when nearly 25% of children are not living with their biological parents.
Discerning truth has been a cursory exercise in our parliaments when the alternative is the vitriol and demonization of gay activism. We have allowed ourselves to cave in to bullying, to the public demonization that the anti-social media now enables.
And what does it say for truth in the Greens’ agenda when this party will fight tooth and nail for the right of every tree to “grow up” in its natural environment and yet champion the selfish agenda of adults that inevitably means through homosexual surrogacy and adoption a child is deliberately denied it’s natural environment, the environment without which it can’t enter the world, the family of a mother and father.
If the method of the law is to seek truth, then of course its purpose is justice.
In a secular world we have to ensure that everyone has justice and particularly that everyone’s human rights are protected.
This debate, like any marketing campaign has been strewn with the language of equal rights and discrimination. Its powerful emotive language but in this case it is also dishonest.
Two parliamentary enquiries have failed to identify any discrimination in any entitlement against homosexual couples. We should expect that to be the case when 84 federal laws have had over 100 amendments to ensure there is none – so the discrimination line – “Marriage Equality” is a lie – what of human rights.
In March this year the ECHR made a judgement in a case brought to it by two lesbians that gay marriage was not a human right. Now if any court was to find it was, if it was legally possible to determine it was a human right, I am sure the ECHR would have been the one to do it – but it didn’t, it specifically pronounced that it wasn’t.
But very importantly for students of the law it also said that while it wasn’t a human right, that if a government passed gay marriage law it must extend ALL the rights of marriage to those couples completely undifferentiated from heterosexual married couples.
There have been a number of legal opinions on this judgement.
Naturally it would mean that the right of stranger adoption and surrogacy, these rights that so offend nature and that trample the rights of children will be cemented forever – unable to be reversed – clearly the political aim. But they have also unsurprisingly realised that it would also mean that churches would have to provide marriage ceremonies and Christians services to gay weddings regardless of their conscience position on the issue.
Now this raises two very important and deliberately concealed aspects of this debate that I hope you will consider with the full gravity I think they deserve.
If the law is about justice and is the ultimate refuge of the most vulnerable, then it must never knowingly be creating vulnerability for the human rights of any section of society and particularly a vulnerability to their guaranteed fundamental human rights.
Freedom of religion and conscience, unlike gay marriage, are a human right – in fact they are what the UN terms a “fundamental” human right. So fundamental that the ICCPR actually says that it can’t be limited even in times of threat to the very existence of the state.
The passage of gay marriage law would create a real vulnerability to freedom of religion and conscience.
Already around the world whenever there is gay marriage legislation or any legislation which defines a homosexual union such as civil unions as “the same as marriage”, religious freedom and freedom of conscience are immediately attacked by this unreasonable gay activism, which shows a total intolerance of the rights of faith communities.
Civil celebrants declining to take gay ceremonies have lost their jobs, wedding photographers and cake makers have been hauled into court and fined for as a matter of freedom of conscience, declining requests to participate in gay weddings. Churches have been forced to conduct marriage ceremonies or blessings, as has been legislated most recently in Denmark.
Any legal profession, any legislature that truly seeks justice cannot create this vulnerability for its citizens. If the law is true to its search for truth and justice it must acknowledge what is guaranteed as a human right for faith communities – their freedom of religion and conscience.
It is one of the saddest outcomes of this gay rights campaign that we have diminished parliamentarians, both here and in the Federal parliament lowering them from Parliamentarians to activists. We have allowed the Greens to create a farce that deliberately attempts to pervert the intent of the Constitution that the federal government has responsibility for marriage.
Citizens rely on Parliamentarians to serve the intent of the law, not to play mischief with it and so reduce their confidence in it.
We have as is the tactic of the Greens, introduced farce into the Federal Parliament with four bills and two parliamentary inquiries on the same subject aiming at no less than to achieve legislation by fatigue. Waste enough of the parliament’s time that good people will simply say lets pass it and get on with the business of government.
It is little wonder to me that the latest poll shows that the public is fatiguing of the Greens.
I commend every one of you for your interest in the law – it is a very honourable calling.
But it is reliant on truth, to serve justice.
The breaking of truth in the process will never serve justice in an outcome.
And no truth is more fundamental or carries more implications if we break it, than the fact of our biological identity – we only have to look at the terrible consequences of the Stolen Generation to know that.
Let’s not allow activists to create the need for another apology, more ruined lives, let’s acknowledge the truth that marriage is between a man and a woman and no activism, no matter how well funded, well organised or aggressive, should be allowed to compromise it.