For release: Saturday, 4th May, 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby today welcomed comments from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott that he did not expect the issue of same-sex marriage to come up in the life of the next Parliament should the Coalition win the election.

ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the Parliament had dealt decisively with the issue last September after a very long public debate in which MPs had surveyed their electorates.

“I think Australians are keen to move on from this issue and that they do not expect it to be occupying the time of the next Parliament, given the enormous time already spent,” Mr Shelton said.

“Uncertainty in the Coalition Party room on marriage would cause people who care about marriage to consider voting for minor parties who had a clear position,” Mr Shelton said.

“ACL commends the Coalition’s resolve to keep marriage as party policy and to ensure voting on it is the same as other important policy matters.

“Certainly amongst political realists in the Parliament  there is no appetite for another debate on redefining marriage.”

Mr Shelton said there was pronounced disappointment in the Christian constituency that Labor had broken its election promise on marriage and changed its party policy.

However, he said Labor members who voted against redefining marriage could expect support from the Christian constituency at the election, although the chance of this will obviously be confused by the party position.

“It is fine for proponents of redefining marriage to keep agitating but I think there also comes a point where people should accept the verdict of the Parliament. If they can’t, they should support it being put to a referendum of the Australian people.”