What’s Happening Now
In 2010 the new Labor-Green-Independent majority in Australia’s Federal Parliament passed a motion which required MPs to consult with their constituents on whether Australia should introduce same-sex marriage. The motion was the initiative of the only MP whose party supported homosexual marriage – Adam Bandt of the Greens – and reflected the new coalition of Gillard Labor and Bob Brown’s Greens Party.
In 2011 the Labor party moved towards the Greens, abandoning its policy on marriage at the 2011 federal conference. The majority of delegates voted in favour of same-sex marriage but allowed its MPs a conscience vote. This action of the party broke Prime Minster Julia Gillard’s explicit election promise that her government would maintain the understanding of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Opposition leader the Hon Tony Abbott advised that there will be no conscience vote for the front bench of his party, since the Coalition went to the last election in 2010 promising to uphold the meaning of marriage as defined in present law and would not be breaking that promise.
In 2012 a number of private member’s Bills, and a Greens party Bill, have been presented to Federal Parliament and are expected to be referred to a Senate committee for further public input. As of the time of this update (Feb 2012) it seems likely that such a Senate enquiry might report by May or June, after which the Parliament may be required to consider one of the Bills.
MPs and Senators are under sustained pressure from well-funded groups like GetUp! and Australian Marriage Equality to “feel the love” and change the meaning of marriage to include same-sex couples.
What is AMF going to do about it?
The task of this forum is to engage the public in a more mature debate than the gay lobby’s adult-centred narcissism of “feeling the love”. A debate on “equal love” misses the point if it does not also consider the ”equal love” a child needs and deserves from both a mother and a father. To normalise ‘marriage’ without a woman is to normalise ‘families’ without a mother – and that is the central offense of same-sex marriage.
We affirm that our fellow Australians who live in same-sex relationships deserve all neighbourly respect - but that they do not have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.
This forum will think beyond the adult-centred arguments of ‘feeling the love’ and think from the child’s perspective as well. We must consider the primal harm we would do to children if we validate a model of marriage & family where a child is compelled to live without a mother or without a father.
A more mature debate requires an understanding of what marriage is - why it exists as an institution at all, and what exactly is the ‘public good’ achieved by preserving marriage as defined in Australian law:
“The union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
This forum will re-explore the objective and time-honoured understanding of marriage, a universal structure built on the foundation of nature. It will examine he anthropological view of marriage as a social institution designed to reinforce the biological ‘given’ – helping bind a man to his mate for the sake of society, and above all for the sake of any child they might create. As the great 20th century anthropologist, Claude Levi-Strauss, summed up: marriage is “a social institution wih a biological foundation”.
This forum will note that the natural union of man and woman existed long before “society” and its laws, and will ask the question: by what authority does any political party presume to repeal and redefine this central structure of human nature, this great institution which has underpinned the wellbeing of society - and especially of children – since the dawn of time?
Further, this forum will consider the downstream implications of legalising homosexual marriage. For example, we learn from overseas jurisdictions like Massachusetts in the US that the normalising of homosexual marriage is inevitably used to normalise homosexual behaviour in school education. And we observe the inevitable expansion of alternatives to natural marriage, such as poly-amory and legalised incest, which are now being defended in academic and activist circles as a logical progression from legalising same-sex marriage. And we also observe the inevitable stifling of free speech and religious conscience in overseas jurisdictions which have normalised same-sex marriage (and therefore homosexual behaviour) with the force of law.
Legislation to support same-sex marriage will have enormous consequences for our children and our culture, and we at AMF want an open and honest debate on this – free of the intimidation that so many defenders of man-woman marriage have been subjected to in recent years.
So, let the debate be thoughtful, civil, and ‘for the public good’ of this great community of ours. And not just for our generation, but for our children’s children.
Thank you for sharing some of your time, and your thoughts, with us.
The AMF Team.