It is not 'homophobic' to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and to wish to have the freedom to say this out loud, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was insulting the intelligence of millions of his fellow Australians by saying a people's vote on redefining marriage would unleash 'homophobia'.
"It is unbecoming of someone aspiring to lead our nation to effectively bully his fellow Australians into silence by labelling them 'homophobes',” Mr Shelton said.
"There are big consequences to changing the definition of marriage that have nothing to do with homophobia.
"We should be allowed to debate these consequences without emotional blackmail being used to silence debate.
"There are legitimate ethical issues associated with deliberately denying children the love and nurture of their biological mother or father.
"Many Australian parents are rightly concerned about the rainbow political agenda and its aggressive gender theory that is being imposed on school children through the so-called Safe Schools program.
"It is hard to understand why those advocating change are so worried about having the debate.
“If they are so confident of overwhelming public support, why would they fear a people's vote which would give them the moral authority to restructure marriage and family in Australia?
"ACL has always engaged this debate respectfully but Mr Shorten is seeking to close down the debate by slurring people of good will who simply want to have a say about the most basic unit of society.
"We do not question anyone's love. This is not the concern of public policy. But the definition of marriage has consequences for children, free speech and freedom of religion.
"If Mr Shorten is prepared to label his fellow Australians 'homophobes', what will he do to those in the future who will never agree to a State-imposed redefinition of marriage? Will people be free to teach man-woman marriage to children without being fined for so-called hate speech? Will there be tolerance for those of us who will always speak up for the rights of children wherever possible to be allowed to know the love of their biological parents?"
Mr Shelton said July 2 was a watershed election for Australia.
"Australians have a choice to preserve the promised people's vote on marriage or to have rainbow ideology imposed on the nation within 100 days.
"This is the most important election in a generation," Mr Shelton said.
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