Friday, 21 September 2012

Julia Gillard, Australian PM, helps defeat same-sex marriage legislation

I am very encouraged to receive the following report from Fr John Fleming, SPUC's bioethical consultant and a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, a priest working in Adelaide, South Australia. He tells me:
A concerted and determined push give legal recognition to same sex marriages on an equal basis to natural heterosexual marriage has failed in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Proponents of change have introduced three separate Bills, two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives.

Prior to the last federal election the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Liberal/National Party coalition parties gave an undertaking to the Australian Christian Lobby not to introduce legislation to legalise same-sex marriage.

However, that commitment was subsequently partially overturned by the National Conference of the ALP. The compromise was that ALP parliamentary representatives were free to introduce such legislation as private members and that parliamentary members of the ALP could vote according to their “conscience” (ie personal opinion).

The Australian Parliament was then confronted with three such Bills, two introduced by members of the ALP, and the third by the Greens.

The Liberal/National coalition kept their pre-election promise in full and voted against the legislation. The Prime Minister, Ms Julia Gillard (pictured above), also kept her word as did quite a number of other ALP members.

The decidedly and predominantly pro-"marriage equality" media urged on the movement for change, and shifts in public opinion on this issue was almost certainly driven by the overwhelmingly favourable publicity for "gay marriage".

When only one side of an argument is repeatedly and favourably presented, and opponents as regularly depicted as troglodytes and bigots, public opinion is bound to be influenced.

In the event, two of the same-sex marriage bills have been debated and overwhelmingly rejected in the Australian Parliaments.

In the House of Representatives (the lower house) the private member's bill put up by Labor's Stephen Jones, was defeated 98 votes to 42.

In the Senate, the private member's bill sponsored by Labor backbenchers Trish Crossin, Carol Brown and Gavin Marshall was defeated 41 votes to 26.

The other bill to legalise same-sex marriage is being sponsored by Greens' senator Sarah Hanson-Young. That bill will now be left on the table until Senator Hanson-Young decides that there is now enough support in parliament for it to pass.

But before opponents of legalised same-sex marriage begin to celebrate, the fact is that the gay lobby is determined to win in the end. The ground has been well and truly prepared by the political class, aided and abetted by the usual suspects from the elites. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Report, Same Sex: Same Entitlements (2008) provided the political opportunity for widespread reform to equalise the standing of homosexuals and their relationships with heterosexual de facto relationships.

The Rudd government (ALP) passed the following acts:

1. Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws) Acts 2008 on superannuation and general law reform;
2. Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Act 2008;
3. The Evidence Amendment Act 2008.

The combined effect of these Acts significantly changed the legal status of same-sex couples, recognising them on an equal footing to de facto couples in areas as diverse as taxation law, social security law, immigration and superannuation.

Since then systems to allow same-sex couples to register their relationships have been put in place in South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.

Where adoption is concerned same-sex relationships are being increasingly recognised in this field.

The pressure to legalise same-sex marriages in Australia will continue unabated for the foreseeable future, despite the significant political setback of the last seven days where the Australian Parliament overwhelmingly rejected two such attempts. At this point it is far too early to proclaim that the homosexual lobby juggernaut has been finally stalled and overcome.
Last November, SPUC's national council launched a campaign against the Westminster government's proposals for same-sex marriage. Marriage as an institution protects children, both born and unborn. Statistics show that unborn children are much safer within marriage than outside marriage. For more information see SPUC's position paper and background paper on same-sex marriage.  Please do everything you can to support SPUC's Britain-wide lobby of Members of Parliament on marriage.

Although, as Fr Fleming makes clear, the war to defend marriage is far from over, Australia's experience shows that it can be done. Marriage can be defended in political forums.  And we must work as never before to defeat the British government's and the Scottish government's proposals.  45 years ago, SPUC was established, the first pro-life group to be set up in the world, to oppose the legalization of the direct killing of unborn children.  45 years on, we are fighting to defend the social institution which most protects unborn children: marriage - the permanent, exclusive union of one man and one woman. Future generations depend on what you and I decide to do today to defend marriage.

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