For release: Saturday 5th October 2013

Advice from the commonwealth Solicitor-General that the nine people in the ACT Legislative Assembly trying to redefine marriage for the nation have overstepped the mark should bring the debate to an end.

Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton said if a report in today’s Weekend Australian of legal advice to the Abbott Government is correct, then it was time to move on.

“This issue has had more than a fair go. There have been multiple Parliamentary inquiries and unsuccessful votes in federal and state Parliaments. An election was fought in part on Kevin Rudd’s pledge to legislate within 100 days,” Mr Shelton said.

“Labor’s worst primary vote in 100 years and the loss of 600,000 votes to the party of same-sex marriage, the Greens, demonstrates that voters are underwhelmed by this issue.

“Discrimination against same-sex couples in Australian law has long been removed and that is supported by the Australian people including Christian groups like ACL. There is no need to open up vulnerabilities to freedom of speech, freedom of belief and social justice for children by changing the definition of marriage.”

Mr Shelton urged the Government and the Parliament as a whole to take whatever action was necessary to protect the Commonwealth’s constitutional jurisdiction over marriage.

“I think the Australian people are becoming tired of the same-sex marriage lobbyists’ attempts to bring about legislation by fatigue. If they wish to persist with their campaign, they should put it to a referendum of the Australian people.

“Because of the consequences for freedom of speech, belief and the rights of children, all Australians should have a say if marriage is to be changed,” Mr Shelton said.

“There are more important issues facing the nation, such as the Government’s proposed cuts to overseas aid of $4.5 billion which was to go to our neighbours in extreme poverty.”