The Australian Christian Lobby has called on the Liberal Party room to uphold marriage between a man and a woman.

“The real conscience issue here is whether or not a child has a right to their biological mother and father,” ACL managing director Lyle Shelton said.

“The Liberal party room must as a matter of conscience preserve the definition of marriage, which provides for the best interests of children, as a matter of party policy.

“Libertarian Senator David Leyonhjelm’s bill to redefine marriage abolishes a child’s most basic freedom – to be loved, known and raised by her or his biological parents,” Mr Shelton said.

“Children sometimes miss out on one or more parent because of tragedy or desertion. This should not occur because of government policy or an extreme interpretation of libertarian ideology,” Mr Shelton said.

“Marriage is a compound right to form a family and the public policy of civil society should ensure this occurs in a manner that promotes the best interests of the child.

“There is rightly no discrimination in Australian law against same-sex couples. There is no practical need to change the definition of marriage.

“If Senator Leyonhjelm wants the gender requirement on marriage abolished, why shouldn’t the numerical restriction also be abolished?”