I hope you too have been able to have a break.
2016 will be the fifth consecutive year where preserving the definition of marriage will again be at the top of ACL’s priorities.
Since the Green’s MP for Melbourne, Adam Bandt, kick-started the debate at the end of 2010, the push for same-sex marriage has been relentless.
Thanks to your support, groups like ACL and good people in the parliament have been successful in preserving marriage against strong opposition.
As you our supporters know, we work across many different social justice issues but so much is at stake in the marriage debate it would be irresponsible of us to be complacent about it.
Kids’ rights to their mother and father, freedom of speech and what children will be taught in sex education at school are just some of the far-reaching social justice consequences that flow from changing the definition of marriage in law.
The parting gift of Tony Abbott’s government was a promise to let the people decide this long-running issue at a plebiscite after the next federal election.
This is an election year and the new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has pledged to keep the plebiscite despite a determined effort by same-sex political activists to take the vote away from the people.
The promise of a plebiscite is good news because it provides an end point for a debate that has been allowed to run too long.
If there is an early election, the plebiscite could be held this year. If the government goes full term, as Mr Turnbull has indicated is his preference, it is likely that the plebiscite will be held in early 2017. Politics is unpredictable.
Whichever way, we need to be ready to make the case to our fellow Australians that marriage is a social good and preserving its definition is in the interests of children and freedom of speech and religion.
I hope you and your friends will stand ready to play your part.
Just last week, same-sex political activists suffered a significant set back when world Anglican primates meeting in London voted to censure their United States and Canadian churches for departing from Christian teaching on marriage.
It shows that with courage and conviction, this political agenda can be resisted.
Taking a stand against redefining marriage is not a stand against people. No group of people are the enemy and everyone should be treated with grace, love and compassion. But this does not mean anyone should have to stay silent about the consequences of changing the definition of marriage.
The former Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen provided some excellent commentary on the events of last week in this short radio interview
. I would encourage you to listen.
The Eric Metaxas “Cultivating Courage” tour in April will be exciting. Eric has authored biographies of courageous Christian leaders such as William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer – men who stood against powerful cultural and political trends of their day.
This is a time where we need to draw inspiration from those who have gone before us.
2016 is going to be an another challenging year but I believe with God’s help and your support, together we can continue to make a difference.