For release: 18 March 2015

Coalition Senators are right to reject a Greens motion today seeking a conscience vote on changing the definition of marriage, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

“It is entirely appropriate for a political party to hold a policy position which supports the rights of children to their mother and father in family structure, something denied by same-sex marriage ideology,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.

Mr Shelton said he understood why pro-marriage Labor Senators might support the Greens’ motion because it was important Labor MPs were not locked into a binding vote for changing the definition of marriage since Labor changed its policy in 2011.

“The politics of this have become very complex in recent years but it is good to see parliamentarians from both sides of the political fence supporting the rights of children which marriage helps to protect.

“More and more people are realising the adverse societal consequences of changing the definition of marriage with the iconic gay fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana this week saying kids deserved their mother and father wherever possible.

“While Senators are obviously free to put forward motions in the Senate, the Greens have used a disproportionate amount of parliamentary time pursuing a change to the definition of marriage.

“Changing the definition of marriage is a low order issue with voters and it is one which denies social justice to children.

“It has also led to wedding service providers in the US being punished by law for exercising their right of conscience not to participate in same-sex weddings.

“The lack of tolerance of anyone who does not support same-sex marriage ideology is becoming an increasing threat to basic civil liberties.

“There is rightly no discrimination in Australian law against same-sex couples and there is no need to change the definition of marriage,” Mr Shelton said.