For release: Monday 29th July 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the ACT Labor-Greens government to leave marriage laws to the federal jurisdiction and avoid an ad hoc approach to Australia’s marriage laws.

ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said reports that Attorney-General Simon Corbell is planning on introducing legislation for “same-sex” marriage in the ACT Assembly would create inconsistent marriage laws, given the federal parliament and two state parliaments recently rejected same-sex marriage bills.

“It makes no sense for the ACT, a small legislature without the checks and balances of state parliaments, to be legislating on something as radical as changing the definition of marriage,” Mr Shelton said.

“There should at least be a public inquiry with the ability for residents to make submissions and give evidence.

“The ethics of denying children the right to a mother or father should also be part of the debate,” he said.

“Any unilateral move by the ACT is likely to end up in the High Court. Rather than having judges decide this important social issue, it should be put to the Australian people in a referendum,” Mr Shelton said.

“Last week’s NSW committee inquiry report made it clear that any state based law on redefining marriage could be subject to a High Court Challenge,” he said.