Media Release: Wednesday, 30 April, 2008

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has never been opposed to addressing unreasonable discrimination against same-sex couples in Federal laws provided that the changes do not tamper with Australia’s definitions of marriage and family.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said today that it is fair that homosexual couples should be able to share finance and property with one another so long as marriage and biological parenthood is protected.

“We welcome the Rudd Government’s clear commitment to retaining the special status of marriage as being between a man and a woman – a pre-election and a bipartisan commitment which continues to recognise the special role and value of marriage in Australian society,” Mr Wallace said.

“We will need to fully scrutinise the details of individual Federal law changes before we can reach a position on them but would be looking to see, for example, that they don’t try to redefine the legal assumption that a child has a father and a mother.

“We also understand that the Federal Government is looking to use a system of nationally consistent State-based relationship registers as a way for same-sex couples to qualify for any benefits under amended Federal laws.

“This would be an appropriate way to do this and reinforces yet again why the ACT Stanhope Government should be following the model for relationship registers laid out by the Federal Government, rather than continuing to try to push through civil partnerships legislation which is out-of-step with other states and at odds with its own party’s commitments.”

Mr Wallace said that the push by the Stanhope Government and extreme gay activists for a form of gay marriage or civil partnerships is presented as being about ‘rights’ but is really about ideology.

“Moves to establish relationship registers and address unreasonable discrimination against same-sex couples answer any concerns about rights. However gay activists don’t appear to be happy with that – they want to push ahead for the political trophy of marriage,” Mr Wallace said.

“This is about the ideology of an estimated two per cent of the population – and only the activitist component of that figure – trying to impose its agenda on the majority.

It takes no account of the right of the majority to maintain a social institution which is vital to a healthy society.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan