Media Release

For release: June 20, 2011

The Australian Christian Lobby is concerned Labor may discard its election promise on marriage following the Queensland branch’s push at the weekend to redefine it.

“We have appreciated Prime Minister Gillard’s resolve to honour Labor’s commitment but we are worried about elements of the Party who are seemingly dismissive of the Party’s election promise and are following the Greens’ lead on redefining marriage,” ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said today.

“ACL urges delegates to the Federal Conference in December not to break Australia’s bi-partisan support for marriage being between one man and one woman.”

Mr Shelton said the changing of 84 laws in 2008 giving same-sex couples the same rights as de-facto heterosexual couples meant that issues of equality had been comprehensively dealt with under Australian Commonwealth law.

“But equality under the law does not mean that marriage should be redefined.”

“This debate would be understandable if there were issues of substantial inequality but there are none.

“To have Labor fixated on a political trophy being sought by the activist component of two percent of the population when ordinary Australians are more concerned about cost of living pressures and the social environment in which they raise their children risks alienating mainstream voters.”

In a video interview two weeks before the 2010 election with ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace, Ms Gillard said:

“The Marriage Act will stay unchanged, so marriage will be defined as it is in our current Marriage Act as between a man and a woman, and we have also said that the Labor Party policy is we do not want to see the development of ceremonies that mimic marriage ceremonies. And so that’s the party policy, and as Prime Minister, as the leader of the parliamentary Labor Party that’s obviously my policy, and that’s what you should expect to see from the Gillard Labor Government if we’re re-elected.”

Mr Shelton called on the Party to support the Prime Minister’s stance at the National Conference in December.