I encourage you to take this short survey regarding the Inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2012 on the Parliament of Australia website. Below are my thoughts on the survey. You may also find the resources from Social Issues Executive (Anglican Diocese of Sydney) helpful as well.
If you are interested in hearing more about a Christian view of marriage, I encourage you to attend the Friday Forum at St David’s Cathedral on Friday 16th of March from 1-2pm. See more about this event here and feel free to distribute the Flyer in your parishes or work places.
SOME THOUGHTS FOR A MARRIAGE SURVEY
1) What is your position?
The law should NOT be changed so as to redefine the concept of marriage. The current law correctly defines marriage as “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” This definition reflects biblical teaching, social custom, and common sense.
Ministers of religion SHOULD NOT be obliged to marry anyone for any reason. If the law is changed, this freedom should continue to be recognised. Moreover, other aspects of law, such as anti-discrimination law, should also respect this freedom.
Same sex marriages performed in other countries SHOULD NOT be recognised in Australia under the term “marriage.” The modification of definitions in other countries need not be imposed on the Australian community. There are other ways in which the legal realities of same-sex couples in this situation can be recognised in law.
2) Do you Support the Bills?
No. Any bill that makes the unnecessary change of redefining the concept of legal marriage SHOULD NOT be supported.
3) Can you explain your reasons to the above questions?
This issue is not one of equality or inequality. Many of the rights and responsibilities afforded in law to a marriage are also rightly applied to de-facto couples, same-sex couples, and other significant relationships. Where this is not the case, the law can be modified with respect to the specifics of the situation.
This issue is about re-definition. Redefinition is injurious when it removes an aspect of a relationship that is fundamental to its nature. The heterosexual nature of marriage is fundamental as evidenced by
a) the ideals and understandings of virtually every civilisation in history
b) the categorical basics of human biology
c) the fundamentals of human society which seeks to form a coherent arrangement of biological, familial and sociological relationships for the benefit and longevity of the whole community, not just the happiness of the couple.
d) religious beliefs and philosophical positions which affirm a sacred and holistic sense of marriage as a unity-in-gender-diversity, a joining-of-gender-differences.
For many who have entered into the institution of marriage tampering with the fundamental heterosexual nature of marriage would make the institution of marriage unrecognisable.
4) Do you have any further comments on the legal implications of these Bills?
The recognition of religious freedom should be embraced in these Bills. More importantly religious freedom should be ensured in other relevant legislation such as Anti-Discrimination legislation.
If the Bill purports to resolve an aspect of discrimination how might it protect against further claims for “marriage equality” from polygamous, polyamorous, incestuous and other relationships that are extrapolations of sexual fixation?