MEDIA RELEASE For release: 2pm Thursday Dec 1
A petition of 100,000 Australians urging Labor not to break its election promise on marriage has been presented to delegates attending tomorrow’s national conference in Sydney.
The Australian Christian Lobby has also today e-mailed all Labor Members of Parliament reminding them of the Prime Minister and the Party’s election promise not to change the Marriage Act during the term of this Parliament.
Two weeks before the 2010 election the Prime Minister said “the Marriage Act will remain unchanged...if we’re re-elected” (http://vimeo.com/17629316).
The e-mail to MPs and Senators contains a breakdown of petition signatories in marginal seats which reveals enough signatories in some key marginals for Labor to lose those seats.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said the Australian Marriage Forum petition (http://australianmarriage.org/) would continue beyond the ALP conference in the lead-up to any Parliamentary debate.
“This petition has only been running for six-and-half weeks and this is just the beginning of what we believe will be a large groundswell of people who expect Labor to honour its election promise,” Mr Wallace said.
“It has been disappointing to see elements of the ALP so keen to follow the Greens on same-sex marriage that they have forgotten their party’s vow to the Australian people before the last election.
“Labor cannot afford another broken election promise and this should be foremost in the minds of delegates at tomorrow’s conference, and particularly that they don’t force that on their leader.
“If Labor rejects marriage between a man and a woman, it risks permanently alienating a large constituency of voters for whom marriage is deeply held.
“In contrast, based on the 10 of 196 countries which have same-sex marriage, the take up rate is just 0.2 per cent of the population.”
The petition is a joint initiative of the ACL and the Australian Family Association.
Media Contacts: Katherine Spackman 0408 875 979 from the Australian Christian Lobby or Tim Cannon from The Australian Family Association 0401 659 748 Copy of ACL's letter to ALP Members and SenatorsDear ALP Member
I wish to advise you of the results of the Australian Marriage Forum Petition on marriage to the ALP Conference and am attaching the number of signatories to it in each of the ALP held marginal seats
. I hope the 100,000 petitioners will give you a sense of the strength of feeling to retain the current definition of marriage as the Conference looks to consider this.
Importantly many of these and more in the community who cherish the current definition, do it for deeply held faith or cultural reasons. They are not “homophobic” or against anybody, but the comments coming from the Party in the lead up to the Conference seem to give no weight to their sensibilities or rights.
Instead it seems the Party is prepared to ignore this large section of the community to appease quite unreasonable demands by the .2% of the population that will actually avail itself of same-sex marriage, as evidenced by the take up rate in the whole 10 of 196 nations in the world that have done this.
For my part I hope the Party will realise it stands to abandon the hard won centre of politics not just gently, but by breaking promises clearly given that marriage would not be redefined during this parliament (please see this one minute video recorded two weeks before the election http://vimeo.com/17629316).
I hope you might take the measure of support this petition has received in the just 6 ½ weeks it has been running, the fact that it has had duplicates removed, and has required names and addresses of petitioners, as consideration for the conference on this issue.
Yours faithfully JJA Wallace AMManaging DirectorAustralian Christian Lobby Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s election promise on marriage given two weeks before the poll http://vimeo.com/17629316The Marriage Act will stay unchanged, so marriage will be defined as it is in our current Marriage Act as between a man and a woman, and we have also said that the Labor Party policy is we do not want to see the development of ceremonies that mimic marriage ceremonies. And so that’s the party policy, and as Prime Minister, as the leader of the parliamentary Labor Party that’s obviously my policy, and that’s what you should expect to see from the Gillard Labor Government if we’re re-elected.