Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Australian Christian Lobby said the recently launched website “What is Marriage” featuring an animation about what the Marriage Act of Australia currently legislates and doesn’t, will be an important information tool for Australians to share and discuss.

The ACL’s Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said the animation helped explain the reason government is involved in legislating marriage between a man and a woman.

“As three recent parliamentary inquiries have heard, there is no substantive discrimination in Australian law against any couple relationships. However, the Marriage Act is unique because it affirms the state’s interest in encouraging life-long marriage between a man and a woman which in turn protects the right of any child produced to know and be raised by his or her biological parent wherever possible,” he said.

“The video cites an Institute of Family Studies report showing that 72 per cent of Australian children today are being raised by both their biological parents in 2.1 million intact families,” he said.

“It also quotes a poll by Sexton Marketing that shows 73 per cent of Australians believe that where possible children should be raised by their biological mother and father,” he said.

“While some children find themselves separated from one or both biological parents, this was usually through tragedy or desertion,” Mr Shelton said.

And while not all marriages produce children the vast majority do and most people enter marriage with the expectation of raising children.

“The Marriage Act sends a strong cultural message about how we as a society see the rights of children. Changing the definition of marriage in law will cause us to have to think and talk differently about the best interests of children,” Mr Shelton said.

Mr Shelton said the video was commissioned by the ACL in the hope that it would help Australians think about and discuss some of the cultural consequences of changing the Marriage Act.

The video animation is also available on Youtube