Federal parliament resumed this week and one of the key issues on the agenda of the Greens political party is yet another bill to redefine marriage.
Last December the High Court struck down the ACT’s same-sex marriage law and effectively cut off the legal pathway for states and territories to legislate for this.
In its ruling the High Court said the Commonwealth Parliament, if it wished, could legislate a new definition of marriage – even one that allowed for more than two people.
Despite the repeated assurances of the same-sex marriage lobby that their agenda does not lead to a slippery slope of polygamy or polyamory, the learned judges of the High Court made it clear that marriage did not necessarily mean a limitation to two people.
I don’t for a moment think the federal parliament will go for this, but the fact that such a broad definition was seriously canvassed by an institution such as the High Court underscores that we indeed live in interesting times.
It is not known when the Greens might seek to make their legislative move but it will most likely be in the Senate and soon.
No one seriously believes the numbers exist in this parliament to change the definition of marriage but that won’t stop the Greens and some of their supporters who regrettably exist in both major parties.
For them, this is a strategy of legislation by fatigue – chipping away at the support for man-woman marriage relentlessly.
We live in a democracy and while it is highly unusual for so much parliamentary time to be given over to an issue which has been repeatedly rejected, it is their right to campaign in this way if the parliament allows it.
This makes it all the more important for those of us who believe that motherhood and fatherhood should not be deliberately denied to a child, to speak up and not leave a vacuum.
The influential American Pastor Rick Warren, who prayed at President Obama’s first inauguration, has stood lovingly and graciously firm in his support of man-woman marriage.
Like us at ACL, he is tired of being characterised as against certain people because of his views on marriage.
Last December, he was asked by CNN’s Piers Morgan why he apparently did not support ‘equality’.
“While I may disagree with you on your views on sexuality, it does not give me a right to demean you, to demoralize you, to defame you, to turn you into a demon
“See tolerance, Piers, used to mean we treat each other with mutual respect, even if we have major disagreements. Today tolerance has been changed to mean ‘all ideas are equally valid.’”
Warren went on to say this idea of tolerance was nonsense. It is worth watching this three minute clip from CNN. In a 2012 interview with Christianity Today,
Warren was asked about Christians who apparently hated Muslims. His response could equally apply to attitudes towards same-sex attracted people.
“I am not allowed by Jesus to hate anyone. Our culture has accepted two huge lies: The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
Australia has a unique opportunity on behalf of children to resist a trend to redefine marriage that has gripped a small number of nations in the world.
At the weekend yet another story appeared promoting the acquiring of babies by same-sex attracted Australian men through complicated commercial surrogacy arrangements, this time in Thailand.
Commercial surrogacy is of course illegal in Australia and for good ethical reasons. The story contained no discussion of the rights of the babies, who were ‘relinquished’ by their birth mothers to be raised by the men.
If the Greens have their way and a new definition of marriage is legislated, it will be near impossible either through stifling political correctness or anti-discrimination law to say it is wrong for a child to be deliberately removed from its natural mother or father.
Our democratic freedoms give us the right to prosecute the case for retaining marriage. The Christian concern for justice, particularly for children who can’t speak for themselves, means we must speak up.
Our disagreement with those seeking to redefine marriage and family does not mean we don’t love them. Yes, even the Greens.