Why Penny Wong is wrong to silence Christians in the marriage debate

Penny Wong made some rather unfortunate comments recently. According to Penny’s belief system, everyone is welcome to their opinion on marriage and “Safe” Schools - except Christians.

In her humble opinion, she and her ilk are welcome to “impose their beliefs on everyone else", but if your views are different to hers - keep quiet!

The Guardian Australia reports that Penny has stated: “Religious freedom means being free to worship and to follow your faith without suffering persecution or discrimination for your beliefs. It does not mean imposing your beliefs on everyone else.”

She assumes that religious belief (specifically “Christian belief” – although the Christian view of marriage is shared by every major religion) is the only reason to oppose genderless marriage. According to her belief, marriage should be redefined to allow the exclusion of one sex or the other.

She flings around buzzwords such as “equality” and “discrimination” like confetti. FACT CHECK: Every Australian is treated exactly the same by Australian marriage law. Anyone may marry, including Penny. This is not a matter of "equality". There are numerous alternatives to marriage for those who, like Penny, choose not to fit the criteria.

In fact, it is Penny’s proposed change to the Marriage Act that is discriminatory. Allowing two men to marry is to state that the role of a wife and mother is redundant, even worthless. That is discrimination at its worst.

Penny’s belief system has led her to claim that marriage exists to provide legal advantages to individuals. FACT CHECK: Marriage exists for the benefit of society. It provides children direct access to their natural parents, committed to each other and to their child for life, supported and resourced by society. Penny’s alternative renders that ideal a biological impossibility.

Penny claims that changing the law has to do with the separation of Church and state, stating: “The push against legalising marriage equality shows that applying religious beliefs to the laws of a secular society leads to ‘inequity’.”

FACT CHECK: Australian Marriage law is 100% secular, and treats everyone the same – regardless of their religion.

Penny Wong’s attempts to silence debate from anyone who doesn’t share her belief system should be of concern to all Australians. It strips Aussies of their democratic rights and freedom of speech. A very worrying sign from Penny.

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