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Pages tagged "same sex marriage"
Council’s rainbow capitulation a worry for parents concerned about ‘Safe Schools’ ideology
· May 10, 2016 10:00 AM
The Brisbane City Council’s capitulation to rainbow ideology will be of concern to every parent who does not want to see their children taught by “Safe Schools” that their gender is fluid, Australian Christian Lobby Queensland Director Wendy Francis said today.
The Council’s foray into same-sex marriage and programs against so-called “transphobia” are a far cry from its core business of roads, rates and rubbish.
Ms Francis said most people don’t know what ‘transphobia’ is because they are not afraid of other people but they were concerned that Lord Mayor Cr Graham Quirk’s signing on to these political programs would further embolden the promoters of the so-called “Safe Schools” program.
“Parents all over the nation have been shocked by the so-called Safe Schools program teaching children as young as four through the Gender Fairy story book that their gender is fluid,” Ms Francis said.
“The Queensland Government continues to keep a secret list of schools which have signed on to the Safe Schools agenda to allow boys identifying as girls to use the girls’ toilets at school.
“Parents have not bought into the idea that teachers should be discouraged from using ‘he’ and ‘she’ to describe children at school.”
Ms Francis said the Brisbane City Council’s sign-on to rainbow politics and its agenda to stamp out alleged “transphobia” would cause parents to worry that society was caving in to the idea that they were no longer free to accept the biological gender of their children.
“The Council should stick to providing good roads, collecting our rubbish and keeping our rates low. If the Coalition is elected, the people will have the opportunity through a plebiscite to make their views on the rainbow agenda clear,” Ms Francis said.
Media contact: 02 6259 0431
PwC plebiscite figures lack objective credibility, says Australian Christian Lobby
· March 14, 2016 11:00 AM
14 March 2016
The Australian Christian Lobby has called into question the plebiscite costings released today by international accountancy firm PwC because it lacks objectivity.
An ACL spokesperson said, “PwC is not a neutral organisation in the same-sex marriage debate. The firm is a public supporter of same-sex marriage and of Australian Marriage Equality, who are working on the yes case for the plebiscite.
“Having voiced such strong public support for same-sex marriage, PwC is not an unbiased source of information when it comes to the plebiscite or in efforts to redefine marriage.
“These costings fail to take into account the value of a people’s vote. It is valuable to democracy and valuable to the Australian people who mostly support the plan. They also fail to consider the enormous cost of the nearly 20 times this issue has been raised in parliament in recent years. Parliamentary time, committees and inquiries are very expensive.
“The issue of same-sex marriage has gone before the parliament almost 20 times in recent years. The plebiscite is an important way to finally resolve the matter in a democratic way.
“If proponents for change are so confident of overwhelming public support, it is perplexing that they are relentlessly trying to have the people’s vote scrapped. Surely they should welcome the opportunity to have such a resounding endorsement of their vision for marriage and family.
“By doing whatever it takes to undermine the plebiscite, proponents of change are sending open-minded Australians a message that they would prefer to rush controversial law change without consultation rather than allow people the opportunity to carefully examine the consequences.
“By contrast, those in favour of preserving marriage do not seem to fear democracy and are open to all the consultation and discussion that a plebiscite will involve.
“Australians have shown that they can be trusted to respectfully debate sensitive issues.”
Time to stop white-anting the people’s vote on marriage
· March 07, 2016 11:00 AM
It is time to stop undermining the peoples’ vote on marriage and accept that this is the fairest way to resolve what has been a long-running, activist-driven public policy debate, the Australian Christian Lobby said today.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said he was disappointed that many who were in favour of redefining marriage were doing all they could to stop the plebiscite.
“The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has repeatedly said the plebiscite will be held after the next federal election,” Mr Shelton said.
“If proponents for change are so confident of overwhelming public support, why do they keep trying to have the peoples’ vote scrapped? Surely they would welcome the opportunity to have such a resounding endorsement of their vision for marriage and family,” Mr Shelton said.
“By doing whatever it takes to undermine the plebiscite, proponents of change are sending open-minded Australians a message that they would prefer to rush law change rather than allow people the opportunity to carefully examine the consequences.
“Sure democracy is expensive but the cost is reasonable given that redefining marriage is such a big and fundamental social change.
“For people who claim such strong support, it has been extraordinary to see the lengths they have gone to to undermine the democratic vote.
“Australians have shown that they can be trusted to respectfully debate such a sensitive issue.”
Media: 02 6259 0431
The week the marriage debate turned
· August 18, 2015 10:00 AM
Last week was a turning point in the marriage debate.
Liberal backbencher Warren Entsch planned to introduce a cross party bill into the Parliament to abolish the requirement for gender complementarity in marriage.
As Parliamentarians flew into Canberra for the first sitting week after the long winter break, they were greeted by the privately-owned Canberra airport lit up in the rainbow colours of the same-sex political movement.
Media speculation was at fever pitch. They were on the brink of winning the prize of marriage redefined.
Warren Entsch was ready to strike. His first hurdle was last Tuesday’s party room meeting where he needed to convince his Coalition colleagues to abandon their policy of support for marriage in favour of a free vote.
Sometimes if you are for something, you have to take a stand. And some courageous people did.
It soon became apparent there was opposition to Entsch's play.
The issue was unresolved so Coalition MPs and Senators reconvened at 3:15pm, right after Question Time.
One after the other, parliamentarians stood up in the party room and spoke against abandoning the idea of marriage between a man and a woman in party policy.
For the next six hours a civil debate, by Mr Entsch’s own admission, ensued.
At 9:30pm parliamentarians emerged with the news that a two-to-one majority of the party room was in favour of keeping marriage as party policy.
The Prime Minister Tony Abbott held a media conference at 10pm to say a referendum or plebiscite will be held in the term of the next Parliament to allow the Australian people a vote on whether or not they want marriage redefined.
It was an extraordinary day.
The Canberra press gallery and the same-sex political movement were apoplectic at being denied their prize as it sunk in that there would be no same-sex marriage law before Christmas.
We now have until after the next election to continue to make the case for marriage to remain between one man and one woman.
We have possibly 18 months and this time must not be wasted.
This is not a time for neutrality.
Anyone who watched
ABC1's Q&A program last night
would have seen the anger and intolerance of Greens leader Richard Di Natalie and Labor's Sam Dastyari. It was chilling.
Their vicious attacks on Katy Faust, a US guest on the program who was raised by lesbians, give us an indication of what is to come if the law ever changes.
By Di Natalie and Dastyari's reasoning, those of us who argue for children's rights to know their parents are nothing but bigots.
We all know how society rightly treats bigots. If we want a free society for our children, we had better speak now.
I am told reliably that Katy's interview with Tony Jones on Lateline last week rated its socks off.
Australians are being denied the other side of the debate,
something ABC1's media watch conceded this week.
If our side is allowed to present its case fairly, there is no reason why our fellow Australians will not be convinced that children need a mother and father and marriage is the most effective way to secure this.
Thanks to the 50,000 of you who signed our online petition to the Senate. We will seek to have it tabled soon.
Thanks also to the 40,000 of you who emailed parliamentarians in this recent period. Online activism makes a difference.
Yesterday I was told that parliamentarians received your thank you emails after the party room vote. This lifted their spirits because at times this has been a toxic debate.
The past week has shown that marriage is winnable. But it requires us to speak up.
We now have more time and I am confident that as we speak the truth of marriage will be revealed to our friends and the wider Australian community.
Thanks for staying in the fight. The next phase is beginning.
What really happened when Parliament met yesterday
· June 02, 2015 10:00 AM
Dozens of ACL supporters and I were in the public gallery of Parliament House yesterday to hear Bill Shorten attempt to abolish gender in marriage.
We were also there to pray. And we fervently mouthed the Lord's Prayer with the Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, and the government quorum.
After an hour or so of mundane parliamentary committee reporting to a mostly empty chamber, Bill Shorten and 30 or so of his MPs wandered in and took their seats.
"Our laws should tell our children what we believe," Mr Shorten declared.
That is very true but do we really want them to believe children have no right to know who their biological parents are?
Mr Shorten's bill abolishes the words 'man and woman', 'husband and wife' and replaces them with 'two people'.
The trouble is for a child conceived through assisted reproductive technology, this wording replaces their natural mother or father with a complete stranger.
Marriage is of course a compound right to form a family.
As the Sydney Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher wrote, not every marriage produces children but every child has a mother and a father.
Do we really think Australia's ban on commercial surrogacy can be sustained if marriage equality for two men is legislated?
Do we really think it is ok to deliberately sever the primal bond between mother and baby, father and child?
Should we be commercialising carrier wombs and women's egg donation? Should we leave a surrogate mother with milk in her breasts but her baby in the arms of two men?
Should we never enact a Senate committee recommendation to ban sperm donor anonymity?
If we do not allow all of these things, 'marriage equality' is meaningless.
After a week of frenzied media reporting and politicking in the wake of the Irish referendum, the definition of marriage was under attack like it had never been before.
Many politicians have changed sides.
Yet few people have thought of the consequences.
After Mr Shorten's speech, the debate on his bill was adjourned. It won't go to the vote.
However, work will begin on a bi-partisan bill that can be 'owned' by the parliament.
This will most likely be debated and voted on in the second half of this year.
This is not a time for silence. We have a few weeks and months to raise our voices.
More than 20,000 of you have emailed your local MP. Thanks. Thanks to those who have phoned their offices or visited. Please keep this up.
Please go to acl.org.au and download
, our new resource about marriage and public policy.
Share it with your friends; get the conversation about marriage and the rights of kids happening.
Most importantly, please pray for our nation.
This is a seminal time.
MP’s shouldn’t ‘own’ abolition of a child’s right to know their mum or dad
· May 31, 2015 10:00 AM
Parliamentarians planning to ‘own’ Bill Shorten’s same-sex marriage bill need to explain how they would protect the rights of children to know their biological parents.
In abolishing “man and woman” in the Marriage Act, Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said parliamentarians risked legislating one of the greatest injustices against the rights of children in modern times.
“Redefining marriage would redefine family. Mr Shorten hasn’t thought through how exactly two men or two women acquire a baby.
“By definition, same-sex parenting means intentionally removing a child from their mum or dad.
“For a child, the wording of Bill Shorten’s same-sex marriage bill matters. Replacing ‘man and woman’ with ‘two people’ means replacing a child’s mum or dad with someone else.
“Abolishing the terms ‘husband and wife’, ‘man and woman’ has consequences for the human rights of children.”
Mr Shelton said there were no safeguards in Mr Shorten’s bill to ensure a child would always have the right to know her or his biological parents.
“Will parliamentarians ensure that a child’s birth certificate tells the truth about that child’s parentage?
“Parliamentarians wishing to ‘own’ Mr Shorten’s bill should also explain whether or not they support Australia’s current prohibition on commercial surrogacy.
“A Senate committee inquiring into donor conceptions practices in Australia unanimously supported a ban on sperm donor anonymity. Could this recommendation ever be enacted if same-sex marriage is legislated?
“The rights that flow from ‘marriage equality’ cannot be realised without unfettered access to assisted reproductive technology.
“This requires severing the primal bond between a child and its parents and depriving the child of knowledge of its biological parent for life.
“I would urge parliamentarians to think through these important ethical issues before they decide whether or not to ‘own’ a bill which abolishes ‘man and woman’ in the Marriage Act.”
Bill Shorten’s marriage bill demonstrates risks of redefining marriage
· May 29, 2015 10:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby today said the release of Bill Shorten’s same-sex marriage bill highlighted the very real risks posed by redefining marriage.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said Mr Shorten’s plan to redefine marriage posed a serious risk to freedom of conscience, the rights of children and people who conscientiously object to the idea of same-sex marriage.
“This is a bill that will divide Australians,” Mr Shelton said. “It will not bring about equality for anyone.
“Mr Shorten hasn’t thought this through. He hasn’t done the necessary work to provide protections for children and people who disagree with same-sex marriage.
“Where are the protections for Australians working as service providers in the wedding industry who disagree with same-sex marriage? Will they be subjected to the same vilification and harassment and legal punishment we have seen in other countries?”
Mr Shelton said Mr Shorten had failed to consider the implications redefining marriage would have for children’s rights.
“Redefining marriage means redefining family. Mr Shorten clearly hasn’t thought about how two men would acquire a baby. If Australia redefines marriage there will be an increased demand for surrogacy and a push to legalise commercial surrogacy. It’s not possible to provide the benefits of marriage equality without legalised surrogacy and access to anonymous sperm donors.”
Church reps give evidence at senate inquiry into same-sex marriages
· August 26, 2014 10:00 AM
Last week church leaders from a number of denominations gave evidence at a public inquiry against the idea of recognising overseas same-sex marriages. Catholic, Baptist and Presbyterian representatives gave evidence at the inquiry in Melbourne. The ACL's Lyle Shelton also spoke at the inquiry. The following radio packages features some of the comments at the inquiry.
ACL's Lyle Shelton's address to Recognition of Foreign Marriages for Same-Sex Couples inquiry
· August 21, 2014 10:00 AM
ACL's Managing Director Lyle Shelton appeared at the Recognition of Foreign Marriages for Same-Sex Couples inquiry today in Melbourne. Below is a copy of his opening statement to the inquiry.
[caption id="attachment_32906" align="alignright" width="300"]
ACL's Lyle Shelton, far right, prepares to give evidence at senate inquiry[/caption]
Mr Chairman and Senators, thank you for the opportunity to present today.
The recognition of foreign same-sex marriages bill is an attempt to further pressure Parliamentarians into capitulating to the same-sex political agenda to change the definition of marriage.
There is no discrimination in Australian law against same-sex couples. But for some reason, it is important to some political campaigners to see marriage changed from what it is to something else.
And in doing so, they dismiss concerns about the consequences.
This issue continues to be privileged with extraordinary amounts of Parliamentary time and public resources devoted to it.
A bill to recognise foreign same-sex marriages was defeated in the Senate just last year.
There have been at least 11 attempts at State or Territory level to legislate a new definition of marriage. All have failed. A House of Representatives committee in 2012 declined to support it while this is at least the third Senate inquiry into changing the definition of marriage since 2010. There have been numerous State parliamentary inquiries in the past two years, all followed by votes opposing changing the definition of marriage.
The exception was the ACT Legislative Assembly where nine people voted to set a precedent for the nation, later overturned by the High Court as unconstitutional.
ACL facilitated 42,000 signatures on a submission to this inquiry. There is plenty of grassroots opposition to changing the definition of marriage.
[caption id="attachment_32907" align="alignright" width="225"]
ACL's Managing Director Lyle Shelton (left) gives evidence at the inquiry in Melbourne[/caption]
Such is the politically correct orthodoxy surrounding this issue, few are willing to stand publicly against the political agenda it represents.
No one wants to be accused of prejudice but this is what Australian Marriage Equality asserts is the basis for opposing their political objective is (see page 8 of the AME's Supplementary Submission).
This is of course deeply offensive to Muslims, Christians and Jews and countless other Australians of nominal or no religion who will always believe the truth about marriage and will want to teach it to their children.
We do not have fear or hate in our hearts, we simply have a view about marriage that we wish to see upheld in public policy. We will want to uphold this through the institutions of civil society such as schools, charities and churches that we create and participate in.
The recent Crosby Textor poll mislead people by framing the questions as if no one but the same-sex couple would be affected and that there would be no impact on religious freedom.
Our submission references a
florist in Washington State,
a photographer in New Mexico
a baker in Colorado
who have all faced or are currently facing serious legal sanction because of their conscientious objection to participating in same-sex weddings. There are many more.
When the ACT was legislating last year, the Attorney General Simon Corbel wrote to me to confirm that businesspeople who exercised their conscience in declining to participate in same-sex weddings would be in breach of the anti-discrimination act. I'm happy to provide a copy of the letter.
Australians don't want to see their fellow citizens being fined or perhaps even jailed for acting on their belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
A child such as
baby Rhyley lying in a Thai hospital ward, featured on page three of yesterday's Age
, is also affected by same-sex marriage ideology.
He is denied both his surrogate mother and his biological mother because the rights of two men to acquire a baby are allowed to trump the International Covenant on the Rights of the Child which says that all children have the right to be raised, wherever possible, by their biological parents.
Sure James and Steve are capable of showing Rhyley love, and I'm sure they will. But neither can be his mum.
Marriage is not just about the emotional needs of adults. The definition of marriage references a biological reality which helps protect the rights of children. That is why governments regulate marriage.
Governments have no interest in other forms of romantic relationships. They are simply none of our business.
Rhyley is denied his human right to a mother not because of tragedy or desertion but because of a deliberate social engineering decision taken by two men.
We have to ask ourselves whether this is ethical. We have to ask ourselves do we want a new definition of marriage to set these practices in cultural cement. The law is of course a teacher.
Our submission references polling which shows 73 per cent of Australians believe wherever possible a child should be raised by her or his biological mother and father.
We can't have it both ways and we desperately need an honest and mature debate about the consequences of changing the definition of marriage.
If we think removing children from their biological parents is fine, then go for same-sex marriage.
But "marriage equality" is a slogan whose meaning should be unpacked.
If equality is the principle, how can we deny other definitions of marriage already recognised legally by other foreign jurisdictions?
What makes the gay lobby's definition morally superior to those defined legally in other jurisdictions and cultures?
One of the many overseas examples of the legal harassment of dissenters to same-sex marriage is t
he story of
Washington florist Baronelle Stutzman
who is being sued by the State Attorney General. I table her story in a seven minute electronic format and seek the chair's permission to provide a copy to each committee member.
I challenge anyone to watch her story and continue to uphold the idea that legislating a new definition of marriage has no consequences for freedom
I challenge anyone who thinks there are no consequences to changing the definition of marriage to look a child in the eye and tell her she is not allowed to be raised by her biological mother or father.
MR: No reason to resuscitate same-sex marriage debate
· August 10, 2014 10:00 AM
Sunday August 10, 2014
The same-sex marriage debate was settled at last September’s federal election when despite the issue getting high profile during the campaign, voters were underwhelmed by it.
Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the reprisal in today’s Fairfax Media of Crosby Textor polling should be considered in the light of this result.
Kevin Rudd’s pledge in the first televised debate to legislate same-sex marriage within 100 days if elected gave the issue unprecedented profile during an Australian election, Mr Shelton said.
This prompted ACL to commission JWS Research to poll voters on the federal election issues which mattered to them.
Just 13 per cent of voters said it was in their top three issues when deciding who to vote for with the issue rating 9th overall out of 13 issues put to 927 respondents.
Same-sex marriage made the top three list of just four per cent of Coalition voters. It was not a top three issue for 72 per cent of Greens and 85pc of Labor voters.
Despite changing marriage being a top priority issue for the Greens, they suffered a nation-wide swing against them while the pro-marriage Family First Party picked up a South Australian Senate seat.
Mr Shelton said that since the High Court ruled last December that States and Territories could not legislate to change the definition of marriage, the issue had all but disappeared.
“The enthusiasm of one new cross-bench Senator for the issue is hardly reason to for it to be resuscitated,” Mr Shelton said.
Mr Shelton noted that the Crosby Textor poll conducted last month contained questioning of respondents which wrongly assumed there were no consequences for anyone but same-sex couples of a change in the law.
“A change in the legal definition of marriage would flow through anti-discrimination law affecting freedom of belief. Overseas this is resulting in significant litigation against people who believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” Mr Shelton said.
The current Senate inquiry into recognising foreign same-sex marriages, described by former Liberal Senator Sue Boyce as a ‘back door’ attempt to change the law here, attracted 42,000 signatures to a submission opposing change.
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