For release: 23 May 2015

The redefinition of marriage and family in Ireland this weekend is a wake-up call to Australians who value the rights of children and freedom of belief.

The Australian Christian Lobby is disappointed that the Irish movement to redefine marriage, funded by $16 million US dollars, has succeeded at a national referendum today.

ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said, “Over $16 million US dollars has been provided to organisations to deliver same-sex marriage over a period of 12 years in Ireland.”[1]

Mr Shelton said despite the result in Ireland, Australia was different and he called on parliamentarians to carefully consider the consequences for children and to freedom of conscience.

“Australia should not pass a law which forces millions of Australians to pretend that a same-sex couple with children is the same thing as a mother and father with children.

“The redefining marriage movement in Ireland made a big effort to downplay the rights and interests of children, which ought to be at centre stage of all public policy.

“Because marriage confers the right to form a family, it will be very difficult to resist further law changes allowing the exploitation of women through commercial surrogacy.

“The only way the benefits of marriage equality can be provided to two men is to reform surrogacy laws so they have open access to donated women’s eggs and through the provision of ‘carrier’ wombs.

“While some same-sex couples are already acquiring children through various means of assisted reproductive technology, this does not make severing the primal bond between a child and their mother or father right.

“Marriage equality abolishes in law and culture the idea that, wherever possible, children have a right to both their mother and father.

“If gender matters for company boards and jury selection, then how can we deny that it matters for parenting?”

Mr Shelton said the freedom of Christian and Islamic schools teaching the truth about gender complementarity in marriage would likely come into question if marriage was redefined.

People providing services to the wedding industry, who because of conscience declined to participate in a same-sex wedding, would risk being punished under Australia’s anti-discrimination laws.



Grantee Period Amount Source
the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) 2005-2011 $4,727,860 http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org/grantee/gay-and-lesbian-equality-network
Marriage Equality 2010-2011  $475,215 http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org/grantee/marriage-equality-ltd
Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) 2001-2013 $11,557,393 http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org/grantee/irish-trust-civil-liberties-human-rights-and-fundamental-freedoms    http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/breda-o-brien-asking-questions-about-funding-for-referendum-campaign-1.2205469
Total   $16,285,253