Emotion can and does play an important part in political debate.
There were scenes of emotional outpouring as the ACT Legislative Assembly passed a so called marriage equality bill this week.
It is very difficult to argue counter positions against emotionalism without appearing heartless.
The federal government is asking the High Court to hear its request to overturn the ACT law before anyone gets “married” when eligibility kicks in early December. A directions hearing is expected tomorrow afternoon in the High Court.
The reality is that the ACT law, passed by just nine people in a 17 member assembly, undermines the Commonwealth’s constitutional power over marriage.
Sadly the ACT Government is prepared to use a deeply emotional issue for a small number of people as part of a broader political campaign to change Australia’s definition of marriage.
The talk in the assembly this week of transforming Canberra into a “rainbow city of love” where we had dismissed the “outdated legal institution” of man+woman marriage may all be short lived and a small number of people will be hurt.
The voiceless in this debate – children – intuitively have a deep longing for the difference that each of their biological parents brings to their lives.
Wherever possible, public policy should uphold this basic human right even in the face of strong emotional claims from adults.
Marriage has never been just about the love of two adults. It also exists to protect the deep emotional needs of a child and is the only institution that does this.
We should all get emotional about this.
High Court hearing into ACT Marriage Equality Same-Sex Bill begins tomorrow
The High Court hearing into the ACT’s Marriage Equality Same-Sex Bill is expected to begin tomorrow after the Commonwealth lodged a writ of summons in the High Court challenging the law. The federal government says the bill is inconsistent with the Commonwealth Marriage Act and the Family Law Act. It’s requested the High Court to expedite a hearing into the legislation.
NSW marriage supporters urged to contact MPs not to redefine marriage
On Wednesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that same-sex marriage legislation will be debated in the NSW parliament next week. This comes as the ACT passed laws this week allowing same-sex couples to marry. It is important we persuade NSW parliamentarians to uphold the institution of marriage by voting against this bill.
Tasmanian lower house rejects voluntary euthanasia bill – again
Last Thursday, the Tasmanian lower house rejected a bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia in the state. The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, co-sponsored by Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim, was defeated 13 votes to 11. Labor House of Assembly Members Michael Polley, Brian Wightman and Brenton Best joined the ten Liberals and voted against the legislation.
Mark Brown on the Political Spot about rejection to Tas euthanasia bill
Mark Brown is the Tasmanian State Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL’s Katherine Spackman he discusses the Voluntary Assisted Dying bill which was voted down last week 13 to 11 votes after a 12 hour debate.
Anti-Slavery Australia Director Jennifer Burn on the Political Spot
Jennifer Burn is the Director of Anti-Slavery Australia and also an Associate Professor, Faculty of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney. In this interview with the ACL’s Katherine Spackman she talks about Anti-Slavery Australian and law firm Clayton Utz joining forces to access compensation for victims of sex slavery.
Francis Sullivan on the Political Spot about calls for national approach for better child protection
Francis Sullivan is the CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council. In this interview with the ACL’s Katherine Spackman he talks about the TJHC’s submission into the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which calls for a national mandatory accreditation and data collection system for all institutions working with children.
Education Forum with Senator Scott Ryan in Brisbane
You’re invited to attend an Education Forum with Senator Scott Ryan (left), the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, with a particular focus on the National Curriculum. Hear from Senator Ryan and have your questions addressed on Monday 28th October from 12:30pm – 2:00pm at the Ashgrove Library, 87 Amarina Ave, Ashgrove.
RSVP as numbers are limited. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the media – a wrap up of the last week’s commentary
In the last week, the ACL has been quoted in the media on issues such as euthanasia in Tasmania, and same-sex marriage legislation in the ACT.