Wednesday, 8th August, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has applauded the Tasmanian Liberals for keeping its election commitment to keep marriage between a man and a woman in it’s commitment to vote against potential state legislation on gay marriage.
ACL’s Tasmania Director Mark Brown said in the lead up to the 2010 election the ACL held an event on the 15th of February at the University of Tasmania for Labor’s then Premier David Bartlett and Opposition Leader Will Hodgman to address the Christian constituency.
“At that event both leaders committed their parties to uphold marriage as between a man and a woman and both parties acknowledge it was a federal issue and not a state issue,” he said.
“When Premier Lara Giddings succeeded David Bartlett she was committed to honouring the party’s election commitments as articulated by David Bartlett when he said at the event ‘The Commonwealth Act only permits marriage between a man and a woman and we would not be lobbying or moving to change that’,” he said.
“Opposition Leader Will Hodgman also gave a commitment that the Liberal Party would support the institution of marriage when he said “We believe fundamentally that the institution of marriage should be reserved for a union between a man and a woman. Clear, unequivocal stated position with no plans at all to dilute it or interfere with that it in anyway’,” he said.
Mr Brown said it was entirely appropriate for the Liberals to vote as a block to protect marriage because that is what they, along with Labor, pledged to do at the 2010 election.
“It is important that politicians are held to account for their election commitments. There needs to be a return to integrity in politics,” he said.
“The Greens obviously have no regard for the integrity because they continually urge the major parties to break faith with the electorate,” Mr Brown said.
“It is a shame that Tasmanian Labor is being led by its power-sharing agreement with the Greens to break its election promise.”
Make it Count - Tasmanian 2010 state election - Marriage (lower quality) from Australian Christian Lobby on Vimeo.
Tasmanian Make it Count
15th February 2010
Rev Peter Thorneycroft (Presbyterian Church Tasmania):
50.53 – 52.05 My question is in regards to marriage. Marriage is defined in the Marriage Act as the union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntary entered into life. Whatever our human shortfalls and whether it’s civil or religious ceremony – the object of lifelong commitment between a couple explicit in marriage is still the best guarantee of providing a healthy and stable environment for children and the natural heterosexual bond as it is called. Government policy needs to strengthen and uphold this model – not to dilute or weaken it. Would your Party uphold marriage as defined in the Marriage Act by rejecting any legislative attempts to mimic marriage by same-sex couples as has occurred in the ACT? What is your party’s policies position on official relationships that seek to be de facto marriage?
David Bartlett: (52.08 -53.07) The Commonwealth Marriage Act is intended to “cover the field” in relation of marriage in Australia. It is a Commonwealth Act. The Commonwealth Act only permits marriage between a man and a woman and we would not be lobbying or moving to change that. The facts of the matter are though – and I’ll be clear about this – is a Labor government has introduced significant relationships legislation in Tasmania – to protect those people’s in whatever the relationships – it might be a carer’s relationship or it might be a same-sex relationship – to protect those people and to give them access to the sorts of benefits and rights in terms of financial or otherwise that heterosexual couples automatically have rights to. However, we do believe and we are committed to the Commonwealth Marriage Act as it stands.
Will Hodgman: (53.12 – 54:26) Notwithstanding the fact that it’s essentially a Commonwealth matter our position is very very clear. We believe fundamentally that the institution of marriage should be reserved for a union between a man and a woman. Clear, unequivocal stated position with no plans at all to dilute it or interfere with that it in anyway. We believe fundamentally that institution alongside that of the family is fundamental, cornerstone of our society. We would certainly not support and change or nor propose one or nor indeed introduce any legislation similar to that introduced in the Australian Capital Territory. I know what David said about the significant relationships legislation and that did deal with important deficiencies in the current administrative legislative arrangements that concern people in significant relationships. It is a good framework and I think provides adequately for people in those relationships – it’s something I supported. We would not in any way move to diminish the institution of marriage but instead seek to promote it.
Nick Overton (then ACL’s Tasmanian Director):
Can I ask both of you for clarification on one matter to do with this issue. The heart of the question I guess is what’s happened in the ACT recently where they’ve essentially legislated for de facto marriage - for want of a better term - where they have civil unions that are allowed to have ceremonies which have legal enforcement – the same as marriage does. It is really marriage in everything but name. So I guess the heart of the question is would you - what is your parties position on that as opposed to – we understand what you have said and appreciate what you’ve said about the Commonwealth Marriage - clearly in the ACT they have now marriage – for want of a better word – in all but name. What is your party’s policy position on de facto marriage?
David Bartlett: (55.18 -55.29) I’ll just say this...we won’t be seeking in the next term of government to significantly or materially change significant relationships act that we currently have in Tasmania.
Will Hodgman: And similarly Nick, and I did say, we would not propose what’s happened in the Australian Capital Territory and wouldn’t move in that direction at all.