26 July 2015

The same-sex marriage debate entered a new phase of intolerance with Labor voting to expel parliamentarians who advocate man-woman only marriage. In two Parliaments time , Labor MPs and Senators who vote against redefining marriage will be expelled from the party.

Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said this was devastating for the millions of ethnic, indigenous and religious Australians who will never support a state-imposed redefinition of marriage.

"Sadly this is a cynical ploy to force the Coalition to drop its policy on marriage when Labor's real agenda is one of intolerance to its own who dissent.

"If this is the principle Labor forces its people to comply with, what will be the out-working of this principle on dissenters when it is next in power?

"Will there be freedom of conscience to choose not to provide services to same-sex weddings?

"Will Christian, Muslim and Jewish schools be allowed to teach children a definition of marriage that the party of Government expels parliamentarians for supporting?

"Will they be reported to human rights commissions in the same way the Archbishop of Hobart was for distributing Christian teaching on marriage?

"Labor's decision today confirms all the fears dissenters to same sex-marriage have about the political ideology behind same-sex marriage and where it is taking our nation."

Mr Shelton said it was now more important than ever that the Liberal Party retained marriage as its party position.

"Millions of Australians expect the Liberal Party to have a policy position supporting  man-woman marriage.

"A conscience vote would be a capitulation to intolerant same-sex marriage ideology," Mr Shelton said.

“The big difference between Labor and Liberal is that Liberal members are not expelled if they vote against party policy.

“Labor has now made itself unattractive to future political candidates who believe in marriage between one man and one woman,” Mr Shelton said.

“A future Labor caucus will be less representative of the general population.”