For release: 27 June 2015

Yesterday’s decision by five US Supreme Court judges completed the undemocratic march to redefining marriage in America, the Australian Christian Lobby said today.

“Australians should be thankful that our High Court has not resorted to divisive undemocratic judicial activism on marriage,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.

“If Australian activists for redefining marriage believe in democratic principles they will take no joy from the way American judges have forced same-sex marriage upon their nation.

“Today we saw a US court discard both the democratic process and the fundamental legal principle that says the best interests of the child should come first,” Mr Shelton said.

Same-sex marriage abolishes husband and wife, redefines family and requires children to miss out on one of their parents.

“A proper democratic debate where the consequences of redefining marriage are allowed to be put in the public square is the path Australia should pursue.

“We are yet to have that conversation,” Mr Shelton said.

“Five Chief Justices have ignored the wishes of the people of 31 US States who voted against marriage redefinition by ballot. The Court’s decision overrules the people and forces all 50 states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

“Just four US States have voted through ballot initiatives to redefine marriage. Yesterday’s decision overrules democratically-determined marriage policy in more than half of America’s states.

“Same-sex marriage has been achieved in America overwhelmingly by judicial activism against the wishes of elected representatives and the majority of people as expressed in ballot initiatives.

“Thankfully, Australia’s High Court has not taken this route, and has instead ruled in 2013 that redefining marriage is a matter for the democratically elected parliament,” Mr Shelton said.

“The US Supreme Court’s 1974 ruling on abortion continues to divide and polarise Americans. Yesterday’s decision has the potential to do the same.

“It is hard for Australians to understand why the US system allows the courts decide contentious social policy. It is so important that here in Australia these matters remain with the people through democratic processes,” Mr Shelton said.

“This court ruling puts the rights of adults ahead of the rights of children to know their mother and father and abolishes the timeless idea of husband and wife in marriage.

“Same-sex marriage removes kids’ rights through the redefinition of family and the necessary flow-on practice of surrogacy and other forms of assisted reproductive technology.

“Australian political parties should uphold the rights of children to be allowed to know their mother and father and honour the timeless definition of marriage.”