1 February 2016
Kids’ rights to wherever possible be raised by their mother and father cannot be left out of the marriage debate, the Australian Christian Lobby said today.
Mr Shelton was responding to comments by Labor frontbencher Penny Wong implying that the child-centered argument should not be used in the debate about redefining marriage.
“We all know that kids sometimes miss out on a mother or father because of tragedy or desertion, but same-sex marriage causes this as a result of government policy,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.
“Our objection to the state redefining marriage is not that same-sex parents cannot be good parents - of course they can be.
“The concern is that no matter how great a mum is, she is not a father. And however great a dad is, he is not a mother.
“If this view is wrong then we need to tell the scores of people out there who lament having grown up without either a mother or a father that they really didn't miss out on anything.
“We would have to tell them that their regret is irrational and false.”
Mr Shelton said there are many children that are brought up in alternative family structures, including those whose parents have divorced.
“But when making public policy we should have the very best intentions for our children and aim for what is ideal,” Mr Shelton said.
Mr Shelton said that policy debates must be had even when they deal with hard subjects.
“If the opportunity to make these arguments in a respectful way is not allowed, then the issue of same-sex marriage will not be openly discussed and debated in the lead-up to the plebiscite. Everything must be on the table for open discussion as the Australian people work through the merits of this policy proposal.
“It is not possible to provide the benefits of so-called marriage equality without lifting Australia’s prohibition on commercial surrogacy and again allowing anonymous sperm donation.”
Mr Shelton said it was good that there was to be a people’s vote on changing the definition of marriage because there were big consequences for children.