For release: Friday 4th October 2013

Tasmanian MLCs' should reject Independent MLC Ruth Forrest’s latest attempt to legislate a new definition of marriage, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

“Yet again we are seeing legislation by fatigue. People are sick and tired of this debate and keen to move on,” ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said.

“There is no new information from New South Wales – the legal advice remains the same. It is likely that any attempt to usurp Commonwealth power over marriage will end up being tested in the High Court,” Mr Brown said.

“Tasmania has an economy in dire straits and yet some of our politicians are more interested in a third go at euthanasia, a second go at same-sex marriage and a draconian abortion bill.

“The priorities are all wrong.

“Kevin Rudd just tried to fight a federal election with a promise to legislate same-sex marriage within 100 days and recorded the lowest Labor vote in 100 years.

“The party of same-sex marriage, the Greens, lost 600,000 votes,” Mr Brown said

Polling commissioned by ACL and conducted by JWS Research immediately after the September 7 election found that same-sex marriage was a low order issue with voters.

Just 13 per cent of voters rated it as a top three issue with just four per cent of Coalition voters putting in the top three. A staggering 72 per cent of Greens voters were not energised by same-sex marriage.

“In the past 12 months same-sex marriage bills have been defeated in the federal House of Representatives, the Senate, the Tasmanian Parliament and the South Australian Parliament. Voters on September 7 were underwhelmed by the issue.

“Surely it is time to move on.”

Mr Brown said if Ms Forrest wanted same-sex marriage she should explain why it would then be ok for some children to be removed through Assisted Reproductive Technology from their biological parents.

“This is the real social justice issue of this debate – the right of children to know and be loved wherever possibly by their natural parents. This is denied them through same-sex marriage.

“There is no discrimination against same-sex couples under Tasmanian or Commonwealth law but same-sex marriage will entrench inequality for children.

“It further normalises fatherless and motherless children. How can this be in children's best interest?

“The marriage debate is about redefining an institution which has deep significance for a lot of Australians from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.”

Mr Brown said some politicians seemed focussed on introducing as much radical social policy as they could before the March 2014 election.