Friday, May 29, 2015

Same Sex Marriage Debate Heats Up in Australia: Four Articles

Churches defend traditional meaning of marriage

The NSW Council of Churches has restated its view that the Australian Parliament should define marriage as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

“Christians are guided by the teaching of the Bible, which never condones the marriage of persons of the same sex or other alternatives to the traditional norm, which is the union between a man and a woman,” Council President, the Reverend Dr Ross Clifford, said.

“For practical purposes, marriage has been understood as a man-woman union since the dawn of time, and Australian law reflects that consensus,” Dr Clifford said.

“Changing the meaning of marriage would be a vast, risky social experiment. Children have the right to know and be cared for by their natural parents. The law should reflect and promote best practice. Amid the emotion and hype, principled arguments in favour of retaining the current definition of marriage in Australian law deserve the consideration of every federal politician,” Dr Clifford said. Keep reading

Meet the victims of same-sex marriage

All over the world we’re seeing the effects of legalising same-sex marriage and it doesn’t look good for objectors. Some practices like performing same-sex marriage ceremonies and other supporting services can pose serious moral crises for service providers.

Refusing these services on the basis of belief can breach anti-discrimination laws, with jail time as a possible result. Keep reading

I oppose same-sex marriage (and no, I'm not a bigot)

We are told there are those in favour of same-sex marriage, and then there are the bigots. But allow me to make the case for traditional marriage as being between one man and one woman, writes Michael Jensen.

The passing of the Irish referendum on same-sex marriage has triggered a round of Australian advocates announcing that it is now "our turn". We lag behind the UK, many European countries, some states in the US, and (perish the thought!) New Zealand, and we ought to get with the programme.

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, in line with the new ALP dogma, has announced that he is introducing a private members bill into Parliament next Monday. He has said:
It's time for our laws to reflect the values of modern Australia and to include everyone as equals ... It's time for marriage equality.

Whatever our religious views about marriage ... I believe we have to change this law which discriminates against adult couples on the basis of who they love.
How could anyone stand opposed? The terms in which the pro-marriage redefinition case are stated make it sound as inevitable as the dawn, and as unstoppable as the tide. And these same terms make opposing a redefinition of marriage sound primitive and even barbaric. There are those in favour of change, we are told, and then there are the bigots.

But simply saying "it's time" doesn't make an argument. Neither does the need to keep up with the O'Haras, the Smiths, and the Pedersens. Neither does the support of TV stars, comedians, or even Bono. At best, these are arguments from fashion. Keep reading

Gay marriage: Australia's businesses take out full-page ad backing same-sex partnerships

Some of Australia's biggest businesses have thrown their weight behind the push for gay marriage, with a full-page newspaper advertisement today.

Corporations including Google, Qantas, Optus and the ANZ and Commonwealth banks have put their names to a list of Australian businesses backing marriage equality.

Others supporters include law firms Slater and Gordon and Gilbert and Tobin, and the Football Federation of Australia.

Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said the corporations approached the organisation send the message that Australia's business community was behind marriage equality.

"It was about corporate saying it's not just about us individually supporting this, we want to do it collectively and send the strongest possible message," Mr Croome said.

He said corporations understood the importance of respect for diversity in the workplace and equality for staff and customers.

"They're also very sensitive of course to Australia's international reputation ... that is at risk of suffering if we don't catch up to countries that are most like us — New Zealand, the UK, the US, Canada and now, Ireland," he said. Keep reading
International reputation with whom? Support for same sex marriage in Australia seems to be largely based upon vague notions of keeping up with the times and does not take into consideration the damaging effects that same sex marriage has upon families and religious freedom.
Photo credit: Pixabay, public domain 

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