Former lesbian, Jeanette Howard (photo courtesy vimeo)
By Spencer D Gear
Australia’s politicians are being asked to vote on same-sex marriage in parliament in a Marriage Equality Bill sponsored by the Labor Party.
The Labor Party Bill
According to the Brisbane Times, this is how Bill Shorten’s Bill will change the definition of marriage in Australia to allow for homosexual as well as heterosexual marriage unions:
The words “man and woman” and “husband and wife” will be replaced by “two people” in the Marriage Act under Bill Shorten’s proposal to redefine marriage in Australia.
Under the changes gay couples who have already married overseas would have their unions recognised under Australian law, with the repeal of section 88EA of the Act….
And, as flagged by Mr Shorten earlier this week, ministers of religion will not be required to solemnise a marriage where the parties to the marriage are of the same sex.
The Labor leader’s bill to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia, which will be introduced to Federal Parliament on Monday, defines marriage as “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
The current definition in the Marriage Act, which would be replaced, states it is “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
The repeal of section 88EA and the redefinition of marriage as between two people would reverse former prime minister John Howard’s 2004 amendments to the Act.
The same-sex marriage bill, Marriage Amendment (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015, allows a union between two people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status (Massola 2015).
However, the Labor Party is joined by some in the Liberal Party government to support same-sex marriage: ‘Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull says he expects parliament will legalise same-sex marriage before the end of the year…. Mr Turnbull says rapidly changing community attitudes to same-sex marriage are likely to ensure the move will ultimately succeed’.
Reasons for rejecting this Bill
A Channel 9 news report for 27 May 2015 stated:
Australians who support gay marriage are being urged to contact their local MP or Senator to voice their opinions, with marriage equality campaigners saying the country is now within “striking distance” of legalising same-sex marriages.
Australian Marriage Equality’s deputy director Ivan Hinton-Teoh today praised federal opposition leader Bill Shorten’s announcement Labor would move a bill in the House of Representatives on Monday to legalise gay marriage.
But he’s urged everyday Australians to keep the pressure up on politicians to ensure the bill passes.
“It’s important our elected officials understand the strength of support (for gay marriage),” Mr Hinton-Teoh told the TODAY Show.
“The most important thing people can do is share their stories, get in contact with their MPs and Senators.”
Mr Shorten yesterday gave formal notice of the bill, which will be seconded by his deputy Tanya Plibersek, stating he will present a bill “for an Act to amend the Marriage Act 1961 to establish marriage equality”.
“Our current law excludes some individuals – and to me, that is unacceptable,” Mr Shorten said.
“I believe the time has well and truly come for the Parliament to debate marriage equality.”
While support for marriage equality seems strong among many parliamentarians, the Abbott government could simply use its numbers in the Lower House to send the bill to a committee.
Some recent polls have put Australia’s support for gay marriage at an all-time high of 72 percent.
We wouldn’t be caused to wonder which view Channel 9 is pushing. We get a similar emphasis from Australia’s ABC News:
In a statement, Mr Shorten said the time had come for Parliament to debate marriage equality and that he found it unacceptable current laws excluded some individuals.
The bill will come before the House of Representatives on Monday.
“I know this private members bill will not have the universal support of my colleagues,” Mr Shorten said.
“It will challenge the deeply held personal beliefs of MPs and senators on both sides of politics.
“This is why Labor members have the freedom to vote their conscience, a freedom Tony Abbott is currently denying his party.”
Even with a conscience vote in the Labor Party, Mr Shorten does not have the numbers to pass his bill.
Rather he is using it to urge the Prime Minister to grant a conscience vote to his MPs, something the Coalition already appears to be edging towards.
In recent days, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull described Australia as the “odd one out” on same-sex marriage among Commonwealth nations including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada.
Renewed debate in Australia has been triggered by Ireland’s vote in favour of marriage equality in a referendum at the weekend.
“The world isn’t waiting for Tony Abbott and our Parliament shouldn’t have to,” Mr Shorten said.
“I know there are Coalition MPs who’d support marriage equality if Tony Abbott granted them a free vote.”
Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos said the Coalition had been waiting to see how the Labor Party would move on the matter.
“I know some of my colleagues, like Warren Entsch and others, want to raise the issue and have talked about having game plans on this,” he said.
“So we’ll wait until next week, but certainly I would support a conscience vote on this.”
(logo courtesy Wikipedia)
How does the Australian Christian Lobby respond to this proposed legislation? On 26 May 2015, it had this article on its website: ‘Shorten fails to consider the consequences of changing marriage’. Here it stated that,
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s same-sex marriage bill fails to consider the consequences of changing the definition of marriage in law, according the Australian Christian Lobby.
“It is disappointing that Australia’s alternative prime minister is legislating a family structure which requires a child to miss out on their mum or dad.
“Many Australians are watching with great concern as florists, photographers and cake makers in other countries are being legally punished simply because they prefer not to participate in a same-sex wedding.
“I wonder if Mr Shorten has considered the consequences of changing the definition of marriage,” Mr Shelton said.
“We urge parliamentarians to vote against the bill.”
In another article, ‘Why Australia should not rush to follow Ireland’ (ACL 26 May 2015), ACL stated:
So militant have they [homosexual marriage activists] become that we are beginning to see glimpses of what life might be like for dissenters in a post gay marriage future.
Senior Labor MP Jenny Macklin gave some insights in an interview with Chris Uhlmann on ABC1’s Insiders recently.
Supporting Labor’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek’s push to expel parliamentarians from the party who don’t toe the line on changing marriage, Macklin equated discrimination on the basis of ‘sexual preference’ with racial and gender discrimination.
Uhlmann had the presence of mind to pick her up on this and make the obvious follow-up point.
Uhlmann – “You are arguing that a person who disagrees with you on this is the same as a racist, that they are a bigot.”
Macklin – “I am not calling anybody names.”
Uhlmann – “But that is the natural extension of what you are saying.”
Of course Uhlmann is right. Whether she wants to admit it or not, what Macklin is saying is that millions of Australians who will never support redefining marriage are the moral equivalents of racists or misogynists. Nice.
With attitudes towards dissent like this, it is no wonder 28 per cent of traditional marriage supporters in Ireland told pollsters they were too afraid to express their views openly.
Email to politicians
The following is what I wrote to my local federal MP and some Queensland Senators.
1. Parliament does not determine the nature of marriage. Since the beginning of time that was determined by God: ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24), affirmed by Jesus (Matthew 19:5), and confirmed by the apostle Paul (Ephesians 5:31). This Australian nation has its foundation in Christian principles. Please do not go down the route of populist parliamentary and community appeal.
2. It is only the union of a man-woman that has the potential to produce children naturally. Even for artificial insemination or IVF, there is need for the ‘seed’ of male AND female. Male-male or female-female will not do it. Surely this should scream at politicians, GAY MARRIAGE GOES AGAINST A FOUNDATION PILLAR OF AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY!
3. Are you prepared to throw caution to the wind and change the meaning of marriage in a very risky social and political experiment? Heather Barwick is the daughter of lesbians. In an article in the Courier-Mail (March 20, 2015, ‘Heather Barwick, the daughter of lesbians, against gay marriage….), she said: ‘Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognise the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me. It’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting’.
4. Do you understand the positive impact of children being raised by a mother and father? It was reported by statistician, Graeme Archer, in The Telegraph (UK) that ‘the evidence that children raised in standard two-parent families fare, on average, better in life than their peers – and that boys in particular benefit from the presence of a father – is so strong that it takes a wilful perversion to ignore it’ (04 May 2012, ‘The village can help, but children raised by a mum and dad do best‘).
5. Part of that is because children need role models from both Mum and Dad to have a balanced development in life. The information led to Texas A&M University preparing the following material, based on research: ‘20 Reasons Why Your Child Needs You to Be an Active Father‘. A lesbian couple cannot provide this input. That’s the evidence! Do you understand the damage that will be done in legislating homosexual marriage?
6. The language of ‘marriage equality’ does not provide ‘parenting equality’ for children raised in homosexual marriages. The nature of the man-woman relationship in marriage is radically different from that of a same-sex couple. Therefore, to talk of ‘marriage equality’ is inappropriate labelling.
7. Of course two women can love each other and two men can love each other, but common sense leads to the conclusion that the nature of the loving, sexual relationship between a man and a woman is very different to that happening in same-sex relationships.
8. Do you understand how promiscuous same-sex relationships can be? Do you want children exposed to any number of different men or women in the house who are engaged in ‘bed sex’? ‘In one recent study of gay male couples, 41.3% had open sexual agreements with some conditions or restrictions, and 10% had open sexual agreements with no restrictions on sex with outside partners. One-fifth of participants (21.9%) reported breaking their agreement in the preceding 12 months, and 13.2% of the sample reported having unprotected anal intercourse in the preceding three months with an outside partner of unknown or discordant HIV-status’ (Lelands et al in Nicolosi 2009, ‘An open secret: The truth about gay male couples‘).
9. Does Australia want to be in agreement with Article 7 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child or not? Part 1 of this article states: ‘The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents’. The last portion of this statement is shot to bits in homosexual marriage.
10. This is such a fundamental issue for the health of Australia. Politicians need to know that how they vote on this legislation will determine how I vote in the next election – and I’ll be telling my friends of their voting record on this issue.
Please consider these matters in regard to the Bill for Marriage Equality, which would be better called the Bill for Marriage Distortion for couples and children.
What is God’s view on marriage and homosexuality?
Such a question doesn’t seem to enter the minds of many Aussie politicians. However, my local MP has told me he will be supporting marriage to continue to be between a male and a female.
God’s design from the beginning of time was for marriage of a man and a woman. See Genesis 2:24-25, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed’ (ESV).
Jesus Christ affirmed this passage according to Matthew 19:4-6, ‘He answered, Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate’ (ESV).
(3) The apostle Paul also affirmed this emphasis in Ephesians 5:31, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ (ESV).
(4) Then add this factor from the apostle Paul who wrote of ‘men who practice homosexuality’ as being among those who were among ‘such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God’ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). In this list, homosexuals were placed among the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, greedy, drunkards, revilers who were the ‘unrighteous’ who would not inherit God’s kingdom. But Jesus changes all of these people – even homosexuals.
A redeemed and changed lesbian speaks
If you don’t believe me, read my interview with a redeemed lesbian, Jeanette Howard, ‘One woman’s journey out of lesbianism: An interview with Jeanette Howard’. I recommend her book, Out of Egypt: Leaving lesbianism behind.
(courtesy Kregel Publications)
For some further information see my articles:
Massola, James 2015. Bill Shorten releases details of Labor’s same-sex marriage bill, 29 May. Brisbane Times (online). Available at: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bill-shorten-releases-details-of-labors-samesex-marriage-bill-20150529-ghcinb.html (Accessed 30 May 2015).
 I sent the points, ‘Email to my politicians’ (see below) to my local member of federal parliament and some Queensland Senators in Australia on 27 May 2015.
 Reference deleted when edited.
 Amanda Cavill, SBS News, 27 May 2015, ‘Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull says he expects parliament will legalise same-sex marriage before the end of the year’. Available at: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/05/26/hopes-grow-same-sex-marriage-reform (Accessed 28 May 2015).
 9news.com.au, 27 May 2015, ‘Australia now within “striking distance” of marriage equality say same-sex campaigners’, available at: http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/05/26/02/09/greens-speed-up-marriage-equality-debate (Accessed 27 May 2015).
 ‘Bill Shorten to introduce private members bill to legalise same-sex marriage’, ABC News, 27 May 2015. Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-26/shorten-to-introduce-bill-legalising-same-sex-marriage/6499124 (Accessed 27 May 2015).
 The footnote was: http://www.jennymacklin.net.au/transcript_insiders_3_may_2015.
 I sent the email on Wednesday, 27 May 2015.
Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 21 June 2016.