For release: Wednesday March 2nd, 2011

Gillard must withdraw support for deceitful Greens’ tactic

The Gillard Government must withdraw its support for a Greens bill allowing Norfolk Island and the other Territories to decide same-sex marriage and the life and death issue of euthanasia, the Australian Christian Lobby said today.

“Bob Brown must not be allowed to get away with the deception he visited upon the Government and the Parliament yesterday, now that the real agenda of his so-called ‘territories’ rights’ bill has been exposed,” Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Jim Wallace said.

“This is another example of Bob Brown arrogantly dictating his extreme minority agendas on the majority.

“The confusion we witnessed from members from both sides up in the Parliament yesterday about the intent of this bill and today’s exposure of Brown’s real agenda, means he has pulled a swifty and the Government is obligated to withdraw its support for the bill.

“Bob Brown’s insensitivity and contempt for mainstream values is such that he will do anything to get a foothold for his extreme agendas, including giving precedent-setting power on important social and life and death issues to five people in the Norfolk Island Assembly to decide.

“Brown knows that four fully constituted state legislatures have considered and rejected euthanasia because it was too dangerous for the vulnerable.

“So now he gives the power to decide it to five people on Norfolk Island or nine in the ACT he can more easily convince. This is fundamentally wrong.

“Marriage is also at risk, but holds great cultural significance to mainstream Australians, ethnic communities and faith communities, who also see it as sacred.

“Brown’s tactic is clearly an attempt to subvert the election commitments of both major parties supporting marriage between a man and a woman by gaining a foothold for same-sex marriage in a small Territory.

“The Prime Minister must reject this tactic by the Greens and reaffirm party policy and both parties must ensure that the Federal Parliament maintains its position on euthanasia with regard to the territories.

“It is totally deceptive and arrogant to place the determination of such important social mores and cultural and religious values of Australians in the hands of such small assemblies and both sides of parliament must block the Greens tactics to visit their values on us in this way", said Mr Wallace.

ENDS

Media Contact: Katherine Spackman on 0408 875 979.