For release: Sunday August 26

The Australian Christian Lobby said the Northern Territory election outcome reinforced its prediction that the heavily Christian indigenous communities would reject the Labor brand when it is so tainted with its association with the Greens and their faith-offensive policies.

Commenting on NT Labor President Senator Trish Crossin’s statement that this might be “the first time in this nation's history, in any state or territory, the outcome has been decided by people in the bush, indigenous people," Mr Wallace said part of that backlash is from indigenous Christians who have been repelled by Federal Labor’s compromising the definition of marriage.

“The NT rural electorates are the most Christian in the country,” said Mr Wallace.

“While it may not have been the prime issue for indigenous voters, ALP strategists need to consider how their failure to uphold marriage will have impacted the large percentage of Christians in these communities.

“Labor’s support for gay marriage is offensive to the great majority of faith communities, and if the Federal election is to be as close as Labor hopes, it will cost Labor deeply in 2013 too,” said Mr Wallace.

Former Labor Senator John Black’s Australian Development Strategies analysis of the 2007 election found that the religious affiliation of swinging voters played a more decisive role in determining the outcome than any other single factor. This was a swing that many believe carried Labor to victory on the back of Kevin Rudd’s appeal to the faith communities.

“Labor’s support of same sex marriage, and the farce currently been played out in the Federal Parliament with four same sex marriage bills wasting parliamentary time, are sure to resonate similarly in the marginal seats of SE Qld and Western Sydney,” said Mr Wallace.

“The NT result should give Labor good cause to move this issue quickly off the parliamentary agenda, by bringing it to a vote in the next session and even more to reconsider the political sense of the policy,” said Mr Wallace.

The Coalition has retained its position of marriage being between a man and a woman that that is a matter of party policy, and honoured its commitment to that.