Media Release

For release: May 30, 2011

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today urged the Australian Labor Party (ALP) not to water-down its support for marriage at its National Conference in December.

The ACL’s Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton was responding to news that the ALP’s left faction has resolved to push to allow MPs’ a conscience vote on the issue of marriage when this is debated at the December conference.

“Any change to the ALP’s strong support for marriage between a man and a woman would give a lever to the Greens’ agenda to radically re-shape Australia’s social policy.

“Many mainstream Australians would be disappointed if Australian politics’ bi-partisan consensus on marriage was fractured.

“Conscience votes are usually reserved for life matters but marriage has always been a settled area of public policy across the political spectrum and there is no reason for it to be given a conscience vote.

“The Greens’ Party has made it clear it wants to change the current meaning of marriage and will use a conscience vote to its advantage to continually bring the issue up in the Parliament,” he said.

Mr Shelton said Labor committed at the last election to “maintaining the definition of marriage as currently set out in the Marriage Act as between a man and a woman”

“There is an expectation in the Christian constituency that Labor will continue to honour this commitment,” Mr Shelton said.

Media Contact: Katherine Spackman on 0408 875 979