Last week on ABC News 24’s The Drum program, host Julia Baird unleashed on me for ACL’s apparent silence on the issue of domestic violence.
She said she had been through the media releases on our website and found the majority were on the topic of same-sex marriage.
ACL is a small organisation and, unlike those from the gay lobby who work the political system full time in their quest to change the definition of marriage, we are not a single issue organisation.
Yes, we have a disproportionate focus on the marriage debate at present. But that is not our desire. This debate is not being driven by us.
The push to change the definition of marriage in law has been relentless for about seven years.
In 2012, after a two-year campaign led by the Greens, the federal parliament voted by a margin of almost two-to-one to leave marriage alone as the union between one man and one woman.
At the time, Malcolm Turnbull said a conscience vote would have made no difference, such was the opposition to same-sex marriage then.
I’ve lost count of the number of bills on same-sex marriage that have been put forward and rejected. Some say it is as high as 17.
Before the High Court ruled in 2013 that the states and territories had no business in legislating same-sex marriage, the gay lobby had unsuccessfully tried to get gay marriage bills passed in all states except Queensland.
Amid this intense activity by the other side, ACL was faced with a choice. Do we pretend there are no consequences if same-sex marriage is legislated and roll over. Or do we resist the change, knowing that same-sex marriage is a proxy for gender fluidity teaching at “Safe Schools”, using the law to suppress dissident views, and paving the way for commercial surrogacy so that two men can realise the marriage equality dream of creating a motherless family.
Everything has been thrown at us to get us to shut up.
So desperate are the proponents of same-sex marriage to make sure Australians don’t hear about the key consequences, they want the promised people’s vote on marriage scrapped so these things are not debated in the community.
They know they have worn the politicians down by running a public discourse that says if you are against same-sex marriage you are a bigot or a homophobe.
No politician wants this label and fatigued by the relentless lobbyists walking the halls of parliament, many have capitulated.
Knowing that the Trump, Brexit and Pauline Hanson phenomenons have left many ordinary people disdainful of political elites trying to tell them how they should think, the gay marriage activists are terrified of letting the people have a say.
This is despite their claims that a majority of the population supports same-sex marriage. If that is the case, they should welcome the chance for the people to ratify their cause and banish opponents of change to the dustbin of history.
Instead, they claim letting the people have a say will unleash hate and harm so the issue must not be debated.
That is a convenient way of silencing free debate about an issue which has enormous consequences.
As we have seen, the rainbow political agenda of genderless marriage is a package deal which includes inducting all children into “Safe Schools” radical gender theory and sex education.
It means more people like Hobart’s Archbishop Julian Porteous being dragged off to anti-discrimination tribunals for daring to disseminate Christian teaching on marriage.
It means a climate of fear, backed by state-based anti-discrimination law, for anyone who wishes to publicly oppose the idea that marriage is gender neutral.
Above all, it means we break the compact we have with the next generation to do whatever we can to ensure they are loved and nurtured, wherever possible, by their own mother and father.
So amid all this, does this mean we do not care about other important issues like domestic violence? Of course not.
I didn’t see Julia Baird’s pivot to ACL’s record on domestic violence coming. She had asked me on the show to talk about the marriage plebiscite.
But for the record, here is some of the work we have done.
1. ACL submission to the Family Responsibilities Commission Amendment Bill 2014
2. ACL Submission on the Domestic and Family Violence Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014
3. ACL submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence June 2015
4. ACL submission inquiry into domestic violence and gender inequality April 2016
5. ACL Submission to the Primary Prevention Framework Discussion Paper
6. Media Release: Senate’s Domestic Violence Probe Used To Promote Radical Gender Theory & Sexualise Kids
7. Media Release: Abortion Safeguards Protect Victims Of Domestic Violence, Says ACL
8. Media Release: Vic Parliament Domestic Violence Stand Lauded by Australian Christian Lobby
10. Submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth Inquiry into homelessness legislation August 2009
All of this has taken considerable staff resources at a time when we have also been engaged in a pitched battle to protect the definition of marriage.
But because we have been a visible voice of resistance to same-sex marriage, we have become an easy target.
Because our arguments for preserving marriage stand up to scrutiny, other approaches to undermine our credibility are pursued.
Yes, same-sex marriage has been a priority issue for us. That is because so much is at stake and there have been, sadly, few other voices because of the climate of fear that is being created. .
But none of this has stopped our work opposing domestic violence, supporting the cause of indigenous recognition in the constitution, being one of the leading campaigners for a more generous refugee intake, pushing for poker machine reform, standing up for the human rights of the unborn and working to create a society where women and girls are not sexualised through advertising and entertainment.
ACL’s Wendy Francis is one of the most prominent voices in the nation pushing back on the sexualisation of children, women and girls. This is because we, like many non-Christians, see the link between pornography and domestic violence.
I look forward to the day when I can appear on a program like The Drum where instead of it being me against three opposing panelists, there might at least be one other ally at the desk.
I look forward to the day when our arguments are engaged, not dismissed without debate.
Unless the consequences of same-sex marriage are debated, Australia risks making a decision without having considered them.
Until they are, we will not be silent.
And because we can walk and chew gum, we will continue to speak out on a range of other social justice issues, including domestic violence.
Watch the full program here