For release: Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Australian Christian Lobby says a report in today's Fairfax media alleging a deal had been done with the Prime Minister over gay marriage is untrue.

"Unfortunately this is just more misinformation from same-sex marriage activists," ACL's Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said today.

"ACL does not do deals. We use evidence to persuade politics of the merits of our views. The rest is up to the democratic process."

Mr Shelton said it was unfortunate that proponents of same-sex marriage continually referred to those wanting to retain the definition of marriage as 'bigots', as Jackie Stricker does again today.

"This sort of abusive language used now makes people worry about what they will be allowed to think and say if the definition of marriage is changed," Mr Shelton said.

"Presumably if the law is changed the Government of the day will have a duty to take measures to uphold that law," Mr Shelton said.

The latest Galaxy poll on same-sex marriage showed support had dropped from 62pc in February to 50pc in May.

"The gay marriage debate has been simplistic around catch phrases such as 'equal love' and 'marriage equality' without any proper examination of the consequences.

"A Sexton Marketing poll found 73pc of Australians believe a child should have their natural mother and father wherever possible. It is clear we can't have same-sex marriage and achieve this wish of the majority at the same time.

"This debate has dragged on and on and is damaging the Government's standing with mainstream voters. It needs to be brought to a head as soon as Parliament resumes next month."

Mr Shelton said he sympathised with same-sex marriage campaigner Geoff Thomas but said the issues he was raising did not mean the definition of marriage should be changed.

"I agree there should be tolerance and love towards same-sex attracted people.

"But three Parliamentary inquiries since 2010 have failed to reveal any substantive discrimination against same-sex couples. Politicians from both sides – supported by ACL – have worked hard to ensure there is no discrimination in Australian law.

"There is no reason to change the definition of marriage. However, the consequences for children brought about by assisted reproductive technology, freedom of speech and freedom of religion are massive and have largely not been considered," Mr Shelton said.