Thursday evening over 500 Christians gathered in Hobart to show their support for marriage. The event was organised by a group of local churches and Christian groups, including ACL.

Attendees were treated to some rousing worship and a smorgasbord of quality speakers – all of whom were chosen because of their valiant stand for marriage. The Archbishop of Hobart compered the evening shedding valuable insights on the unique importance of marriage to society “While we respect those who experience same-sex attraction and understand their desire for some form of human union, marriage by definition is between a man and a woman. This is how humanity has understood the nature of marriage for millennia.”

Senator Eric Abetz skillfully challenged the inevitability rhetoric of those who support same-sex marriage by pointing to, among other ‘givens’, including the apparent certainly surrounding the push for an Australian republic. Senator Abetz reminded the audience that redefining marriage will only be inevitable if we believe it to be and do nothing.

Newspaper columnist, blogger and author Mrs Claire van Ryn gave a very personal and honest message about how we should engage with the issue of same-sex marriage ‘to reflect Jesus by speaking our convictions in love’. Listeners were challenged that to not engage in the debate for marriage is to not love.

Queensland GP and President of the Australian Marriage Forum Dr David van Gend, gave a passionate speech and said all relationships matter, but not all relationships are marriage.“Only the primal bond of male and female is given by nature, honoured by culture and empowered to nurture new life. We must keep marriage between man and woman, so every child has their chance of a mum and dad. Same-sex couples are free to live as they choose, but they are not free to redefine marriage for all of us.”

A number of church leaders concluded the event with prayer for marriage and for our nation. As a result of the night the Church in Hobart (and beyond) was emboldened and unified in its resolve to stand firm for the timeless truth and vital importance of marriage for our society.