12 August 2015

Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s labelling of Government Senate Leader Eric Abetz “a clown” is a new low in the marriage debate, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the demonisation of supporters of marriage must stop.

“If Bill Shorten has an argument he should mount it, not resort to name-calling.”

This is following Mr Shorten’s own comments in June that the debate should be respectful.

“I understand, that for many people of different faiths, this is a complex question, I respect this…

All I ask in return that this respect be mutual.”

Mr Shelton said Mr Abetz was quite right to point out that many same-sex attracted men are not interested in marriage.

In Holland, the first nation to legalise same-sex marriage more than a decade ago, there were just 522 marriages of gay men in 2013.

“We know same-sex marriage is a low order political issue for Australians. It also seems to be a low order issue for same-sex attracted men.”

Prominent gay fashion designers Dolce and Gababana, are opposed to gay marriage.

"The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed," they told the UK Telegraph.

Dolce added that procreation "must be an act of love", saying: "You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that’s how it should be.”

Here in Australia prominent gay activist Denis Altman told the Sydney writer’s festival in 2012:

“I am going to speak as a gay man, one of the things about gay male culture is it is not a monogamous culture… There are many longstanding gay relationships, there are virtually no long standing monogamous gay relationships. I happen to think that is a good thing… I would love to have the people out there arguing for same-sex marriage say ‘let’s be clear, marriage is about primary emotional commitment to another person and it doesn’t mean I won’t f**k around’. And that’s what most of us mean when we talk about our relationships and I think it would be really helpful if the same-sex marriage movement had enough guts to say that.”

Mr Shelton said the attitude of high profile gay men towards marriage should be allowed to be discussed without fear of demonization.

“If there is going to a referendum in the life of the next parliament then there needs to be respect and tolerance for people who wish to make arguments for preserving marriage,” Mr Shelton said.