Given that our society and many basic rights are intrinsically linked to the definition of marriage, it seems strange to consider the disproportionate amount of time that was spent on the issue of same-sex marriage. While the consequences of redefining marriage were not given the necessary attention in public discourse, a significant part of the same-sex marriage lobby’s argument was overrepresented: recently released census data shows that just 0.38 per cent of Australia’s population are in same-sex relationships. In other words, the percentage of Australian society that will gain most by legalising same-sex marriage is less than half of one-percent. There has been an 81% increase in same-sex couples recorded in 10 years, with more than 47,000 counted in last year’s census, compared with about 26,000 in 2006. 

The median age of same-sex couples was also younger, 40 years compared with 48 years for opposite-sex couples. The gender split was just about even with 49% female, of whom one-quarter (25%) had children, compared with just 4.5% of male couples who had children. Compared with Safe Schools founder Roz Ward’s claim that 40 to 50 per cent of the population are homosexual, this is a much smaller, more realistic number. Same-sex marriage, while it will probably be accessed by as little as 0.38 per cent of the population, will affect every Australian. Changing the definition of marriage affects every Australian. It affects not just LGBTI Australians, it affects everybody. When discussing a legal change that affects the entire Australian population, it is important to have all of the facts straight.

The amount of government time spent on this issue shows the disproportionate amount of attention that it received. Likewise, the media and big corporate justified their amount of focus on the issue by blatantly exaggerating how large the LGBTI population is as a whole. Statistics highlight the disproportionate response to the same-sex marriage issue: The census figures indicate that there are just 46,800 gay couples in Australia, a whopping 0.38 per cent of the population. So same-sex marriage is hardly a mainstream matter. Human lifestyle choices are remarkably creative, and we can be confident that, once the definition of marriage has been amended, over time it will have to be altered to include other variant unions, such as polygamous relationships. We are in denial if we believe that the social push will simply stop at same sex marriage.

The LGBTI lobby does not just want a legal change, rather that they want to change the fundamental nature of our society. The consequences of changing the definition of marriage affects the whole of society, not just the tiny percentage of people in same-sex relationships. However, those who advocated for same-sex marriage were so vocal and active that they  successfully convinced the general public over time that the number of same-sex marriage supporters appeared much larger than it really was. The silent majority should not be ignored in order to appease the demands of a few. As a whole, Australian society has far more to lose than win by redefining marriage. The data is there: same-sex couples are drastically outnumbered. Our politicians should be looking to protect the Australian family through protecting religious freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.

Source: Marriage Alliance Australia

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The last-minute announcement by the Prime Minister that an inquiry will be held into religious freedom, only to report back next year after the Marriage Act has changed, is a betrayal of the nearly 5 million Australians who voted against same sex marriage. Once again, the Turnbull Government has failed to consult relevant stakeholders.  It is hard to view this inquiry as anything other than a thought-bubble, designed to solve a political problem for the Prime Minister. Religious freedoms were central in the debate that occurred throughout the plebiscite campaign.  Nearly 5 million Australians voted against changing the Marriage Act.  They did so out of a concern for their freedoms. Now the Prime Minister has said those freedoms need to wait.

This is not good enough, especially when the Prime Minister himself told the Australian people during the campaign that they should not be concerned, because any bill to change the Marriage Act would include strong protections for religious freedoms. Treasurer Scott Morrison is right.  This inquiry should not stand in the way of amendments protecting religious freedom being debated and supported by the parliament at the same time as the Marriage Act is amended.

Source: Media statement by the Coalition for Marriage

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The passing of assisted dying legislation in Victoria’s upper house is certainly a historic day, but not one I can celebrate. For Christians and others who regard human life as having absolute value, this is a dangerous and disturbing piece of legislation, though I acknowledge that proponents of the assisted dying legislation are sincere. It represents a momentous social shift, with many doctors concerned about what it means for their profession and their duty to preserve life. I have written many times about the detailed reasons for my objections. They are recorded, for example, in the joint letter to the Premier I signed with six other Victorian bishops in late July. I hope and trust that the Act will be accompanied by a greater emphasis on palliative care, and much improved funding.

Source: A statement by Melbourne Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier

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