ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF TASMANIA
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL 2012 (Tasmania)
- We continue to support the reforms of the Bacon Labour Government in 2003 and the rights and appropriate legal protection given for same-sex couples in Tasmania.
- We continue to support the provisions of the 2003 Relationships Act which created the Significant Relationships Register. This Act provides full legal recognition to diverse categories of relationship.
- We continue to work for deep cultural change to overcome bullying and harassment of all people regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
- We do not support the Same-Sex Marriage Bill of 2012 and urge parliamentarians to vote against it.
- As a matter of principle we hold to the enduring policy of the Anglican Church that marriage is between a man and a woman. This is the definition of marriage that is common to virtually all manner of cultures, religions and historical eras and interacts most closely with the objective realities of human biology.
- There are many theological, sociological, and philosophical arguments that can be made to argue against the redefining of marriage. The current debate, however, is of more practical significance than simple semantics.
- We hold that the Same-Sex Marriage Bill is bad law in that
- It creates a novel, arbitrary, discriminatory, legally inferior institution, “Same-Sex Marriage” that mistreats the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia and does little if anything to advance any cause of equality.
- It unacceptably blurs the role of government. In order to extend the definition of marriage to encompass same-gender couples, the characteristics of marriage are limited to concepts of love and commitment. It is not the government’s role to regulate love and commitment, but objective practicalities.
- The objective practicalities of the law are determined by the way the law gives entitlements to citizens and obligations to government and society. There are objective differences between categories of relationship which should inform, not obscure, the obligations of government and the entitlement of citizens.
- The rhetoric surrounding this debate and observation of the consequences of redefining marriage in other jurisdictions demonstrate that the redefinition of marriage is often used as a platform for religious intolerance. There is an awareness that in other places antidiscrimination law and other provisions have been vehicles for those seeking the elimination of the exercise of religion and certain matters of conscience from the public sphere.
We continue to work for a healthy and life giving Tasmania, moving forward in faith, and in confidence in God. We seek by our actions, our words, and our manner to show God’s love for all people.