Former Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. John Anderson AO gave a confronting keynote address at the 2013 World Congress of Families. “The uncomfortable truth … is that the traditional family unit is in serious decline. The rate of marriage has halved in the last fifty years,” he said. “If the research is correct, why is it not gaining more traction, and what can be done to make more of a difference?”  Mr Anderson decried the lack of reasoned public debate, which he said was based on a failure of belief in any absolute truth or values. “If there’s just one thing I can say to Australian people now, don’t expect good policy out of bad debate,” he said.

Mr Anderson spoke to the decaying of the Christian principles that Western society was founded upon, and how we, as a society, have “funded unsustainable entitlements by borrowing against our children’s future.” He blamed this on the self-obsessed nature of modern society, and warned against being “the generation that squandered a hard earned heritage of reason, of truth, and of family.” The World Congress of Families recently concluded. It’s theme was ‘Happy Families, Happy Economies’, and Mr Anderson was one of a panel of international speakers, describing how intact marriages and families positively affect children, the economy, and society, on a number of levels.

Theresa Okafor, the Director of Life League, Nigeria, and African Coordinator of the World Congress for Families described the family basis in Africa in comparison to the West. She described the debt that Africa had to the missionaries from the West, but how much had changed, “We’re alarmed that the same ones that brought religion are trying to ostracise religion … Religion has been replaced by a new cult—the cult for equality.” Missionaries had also made a significant impact for her own life. “I’m a twin, and in some parts of Africa, they were seen as evil. I’m alive, in part, because of the Scottish missionaries,” she said.

Brad Wilcox, Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia outlined statistics that showed children within two-parent families have an educational advantage across the world. “Most children (80 per cent) in Australia are growing up in a two-parent family. On average, these Australian children are more likely to benefit from the love, attention, and financial resources that a two-parent family can deliver,” he said. The World Congress of Families was originally founded in 1997 and the Sydney event was the seventh Congress ever held. During the Congress the following declaration was unanimously passed as a public statement from the attending delegates.

We, the delegates of the World Congress of Families VII, assembled in Sydney Australia, this 18 May 2013 affirm that the sustained prosperity and happiness of nations rests on the foundation of strong natural families. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed by every nation on earth, states that  “men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family … The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” (Article 16.1, 16.3)
In agreement with earlier World Congresses and with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we hold that the natural family is the basic unit on which human societies are built and is the best environment for the moral, social and emotional development of children. The natural family is the most efficient way of nurturing and educating children, of looking after the health and welfare of its members, of creating a vital domestic economy, of building cohesive communities, and of extending a compassionate hand to individuals and households, whatever their situation.
We affirm that the productive economy is sustained by strong families, which reliably shape the virtues needed for healthy economic exchange. Social and economic research overwhelmingly demonstrates that children born into stable loving homes have the best prospects for growing into healthy, intelligent, creative and morally grounded adults. On average, they become the most productive and engaged citizens and are the least likely to become dependent on the welfare state. Accordingly, we declare that a family-centred economy requires the following basic framework:
1.      The economy should serve the family rather than the family being a servant of the economic system and the state.
2.      A strong domestic, household economy is a true measure of a healthy society and the basis of a robust economy;
3.      Economic policies should enable families to hold productive property and to be independent of the welfare state.
4.      Employers and governments need to respect the needs of natural families in their wage and labour policies.
5.      Market policies should support and encourage entrepreneurial innovation, ensure low barriers of entry into small business, and guard against excessive concentration of economic power and financial instability.
6.      Family-owned businesses should be encouraged as part of a market economy. 
Gross Domestic Product must be defined to include the economic value of unpaid work done in the home and the community by families, so that society can recognize the contribution of this form of labor. Governments must pursue policies of affordable housing, particularly for young first home buyers. From these principles, we also affirm:
1.      Marriage is being the union of one man and one woman, voluntary entered into for life;
2.      The protection of human life from conception to natural death;
3.      The right of children to be raised by their biological parents, wherever possible;
4.      That the root causes of hunger, poverty and environmental decay are the breakdown of the natural family and political and economic failures, not human “overpopulation”;
5.      That the real demographic dangers of the 21st century are ageing and declining populations: the world needs more, not fewer, children;
6.      That the great opportunities for family friendly commerce, communication and education on the internet must be made safe from the destructive impacts of pornography and other harmful content at the national and international levels.
7.      The concept of the family wage: wages, salary levels and taxation policy should reinforce natural family bonds; and
8.      That the natural family is the surest guide for the economic and healthy development of all peoples, including the indigenous communities of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
This Congress appeals to policy makers, community leaders, the media and people everywhere to recognize that overwhelming research based evidence demonstrates the importance of marriage and families to our society.

Source: Compiled by APN from information supplied by various sources



Recent election victories by candidates supporting man-woman marriage have occurred on both sides of the globe, in the UK and in Tasmania. Results in the recent elections for three Tasmanian upper house seats have sent a clear message.  There were decisive victories for true marriage in all three seats, despite a well-funded, aggressive campaign asking voters to reject the ultimate winners because of their vote or stance against the Tasmanian Same-sex Marriage Bill last September. The GetUp! organisation coordinated a national campaign against these three candidates. 
Rodney Croome’s “Marriage Equality” group achieved a very high media profile on TV, radio and newspapers, as well as letter-boxing the three electorates with professionally-produced, emotive flyers.  It took some courage to stand for true marriage.  Graham Hodge, a Christian sign writer, erected a simple but effective sign on his Somerset property in northwest Tasmania.  Graham was condemned as a bigot in the local paper and his sign was trashed with paint. Family Voice Australia state officer Jim Collins has also felt the heat of bitter personal attacks. 
He played a key part in the Save Marriage Coalition, encouraging Christian voters to make a difference.  The Save Marriage Coalition was not well-funded, but their message struck a chord with voters. Independent MLC Jim Wilkinson held his seat in Nelson with 52 per cent of the first preference vote.  Liberal Vanessa Goodwin was returned with 51 per cent of first preferences in Pembroke.  In the seat of Montgomery, new Liberal candidate Leonie Hiscutt won against the local deputy mayor, 56 to 44 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis.  Most of their opponents were backed by GetUp and Rodney Croome’s cashed-up campaign.

The results showed that true marriage is a clear vote-winner, and that most people understand that marriage is biology, not bigotry. The UK Conservative party discovered this fact to their cost recently.  They suffered dramatic losses in local council elections, a direct result of David Cameron’s defiant support for same-sex marriage.  The fledgling UK Independence Party (UKIP) enjoyed a huge boost, in part because of their refusal to change the man-woman meaning marriage has always had. Voters have decisively rejected marriage redefinition – in federal parliament, in the Tassie upper house – and now in the Tasmanian upper house elections.

Source: Family Voice Australia



Melbourne GP Dr Mark Hobart, who recently refused a couple who wanted to abort a baby because she was a girl, believes all abortion is murder.  Dr Hobart says that he had not made any referrals for people wanting abortions for “quite some years”.  He said he was “dumbfounded” when a couple told him they wanted an abortion referral because they wanted a boy, not a girl, and says he broke the law by refusing to provide a referral. In Victoria, a doctor who is a “conscientious objector” to abortion is required to refer patients to another doctor who is not a conscientious objector.
Dr Hobart said he refused to refer the couple directly to an abortion clinic, then learned later they had found one and had the abortion. According to a 2011 submission to a Victorian inquiry, Dr Hobart believes “anyone with full knowledge of their actions and with free will who assists in abortion is committing a mortal sin and the Catholic Church teaches this person will go to hell”.  “I am unable to refer for an abortion, because reason and logic lead me to conclude it is murder,” he wrote.  “To say it is not murder is against direct observation, reason and logic. “To say it is not murder is to deny reality. Hence, if I refer for an abortion I become an accomplice to murder.”
Dr Hobart is a former Democratic Labor Party (DLP) candidate. Dr Hobart conceded the clinic that eventually carried out the abortion on the couple who wanted a boy may have been unaware of their original reasons for the abortion. Reproductive Choice Australia President Dr Leslie Cannold said Dr Hobart should have disclosed that he wouldn’t have referred the couple to an abortion clinic under any circumstances. “He made it sound like he wouldn’t refer because of the couple’s reasons for the abortion but now we know he wouldn’t have referred no matter what,” she said.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports