AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER – AUSTRALIAN NEWS 31ST JULY 2013
- SAME-SEX MARRIAGE – SOUTH AUSTRALIA SAYS NO – NSW NOW WANTS A VOTE ON IT
- RUDD’S NEW VIEW OF MARRIAGE OUT OF STEP WITH ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY
TOUGHER ACTION NEEDED TO COMBAT SEX TRAFFICKING
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE – SOUTH AUSTRALIA SAYS NO – NSW NOW WANTS A VOTE ON IT
A push by Labor backbencher Susan Close to legalise same-sex marriage in South Australia has been defeated in State Parliament. Labor MPs were given a conscience vote on the private member’s bill, with Premier Jay Weatherill among its supporters. Liberal MPs opposed the bill, arguing it was unconstitutional for a state to rule on same-sex marriage and the issue belonged in the federal arena. Ms Close argued in the Parliament that South Australia was able to legislate on the issue, citing legal advice on the matter. A minister of the SA Labor Government Ian Hunter went to Spain last year to be legally able to marry his partner.
Ros Phillips from FamilyVoice Australia said “Spain, where marriage has included same-sex couples since 2005, has seen a dramatic drop in overall marriage rates since that time. If you change the fundamental man-woman meaning of marriage, it soon ceases to have much meaning at all. Many couples no longer bother. The ultimate victims of same-sex marriage laws are children, who do best and are safest when raised by their natural married mum and dad. We encourage all Australian MPs to keep the true meaning of marriage, for our future’s sake.”
Meanwhile in NSW a Government backed inquiry has cleared the way for NSW to introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriage. NSW could become the first Australian state to legalise same-sex marriage after the inquiry found NSW has the power to introduce its own law, although this was likely to be challenged in the High Court by opponents of gay marriage. A group of MPs from across the political spectrum have redrafted a Same Sex Marriage Bill that will be introduced in the upper house of the NSW parliament in the next session. Premier O’Farrell has promised a conscience vote on the issue, and is the first Liberal leader in Australia to do so.
The cross party working group said they are confident their private members bill ”is constitutionally valid and would withstand any challenge to the High Court”. The bill makes it clear it is about the marriage of same-sex couples only. Trans-sex marriages are not allowed, and churches are explicitly exempted. The bill will also only recognise same-sex marriages from other Australian states, and not those conducted overseas, because of constitutional concerns. The bill is expected to be introduced into the NSW upper house and voted upon by the end of the year.
The NSW Council of Churches has reiterated its call to Premier Barry O’Farrell not to lend support to the push to legalise same sex marriage in New South Wales.“We call on Premier O’Farrell not to support parliamentary action on same sex marriage laws in NSW. It is far from clear whether the States have the power to pass same sex marriage laws, given that marriage is a federal matter,” President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Rev Dr Ross Clifford, said. There are many priority issues for the NSW Government to address. Same-sex marriage is not one of them.
“The strong vote against same sex marriage by federal NSW MPs in the federal parliament indicates that the people of NSW do not want same sex marriage” Dr Clifford said. Dr Clifford also urged federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to remain firm in his support for the current definition of marriage in federal law. The Hon. Greg Donnelly MLC (Labor) said “Such legislation, if passed by the New South Wales Parliament, would most certainly be challenged in the High Court which I believe would find it invalid and inoperative.”
Source: Compiled by APN from various sources
RUDD’S NEW VIEW OF MARRIAGE OUT OF STEP WITH ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY
Kevin Rudd’s new position on marriage is out of step with every major Christian denomination in Australia, according to the Australian Christian Lobby. ACL Managing director Lyle Shelton said it was incomprehensible that the man who publicly defended marriage outside church on Sunday mornings, is now promoting something that is contrary to every major Christian denomination’s teaching on marriage. “Australians are looking for leaders who have principles and stick by them,” Mr Shelton said. “After years of defending marriage, it is disappointing that Mr Rudd is now championing its redefinition.”
Apart from his unorthodox theology, Mr Rudd had not properly thought through the consequences of legislating a new definition of marriage. “No one doubts that two men can love a baby, but is it right for them to remove that baby from its biological mother to satisfy their desire for a child?” “There are big ethical questions about setting in cultural cement the idea that it is okay for children to be denied one or more of their biological parents and this has not been properly considered in the debate about redefining marriage,” Mr Shelton said.
Mr Shelton said Mr Rudd’s suggestion of a plebiscite or a referendum should occur regardless of the Coalition’s position on a conscience vote. “Redefining marriage has so many far-reaching consequences for the human rights of children, freedom of speech and freedom of religion that it needs a peoples’ vote to settle the matter. “However a plebiscite should only be held in an environment where there can be free discussion without fear of slurs and labels such as bigot or homophobia being bandied around to silence debate,” Mr Shelton said.
Source: Australian Christian Lobby
TOUGHER ACTION NEEDED TO COMBAT SEX TRAFFICKING
“The federal inquiry into slavery and people trafficking has acknowledged a link between people trafficking and the sex industry in its recent report, but its recommendations are insufficient to tackle this growing problem,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said. The committee conducting the inquiry has ignored calls to criminalise the purchase of sex as Sweden has done, despite hearing evidence that most victims of trafficking are women exploited by the sex industry. “We recommended that purchasing a sexual act with a person in sexual servitude should be made a new strict liability offence. That recommendation has been ignored.” Mrs Phillips said.
In Sweden, ten years after it enforced laws against the sex trade, an independent evaluation found Sweden to be an undesirable destination for traffickers because fewer men bought sex. Sweden now has the lowest incidence of sex trafficking in the entire European Union. “The model has been so successful that Norway and South Korea have adopted similar legislation. France is considering criminalising the purchase of sex and The Netherlands has admitted that its decision to legalise brothels has failed to stem human trafficking and is investigating the Nordic model,” Ros Phillips said. “Why is Australia ignoring an effective solution?”
Source: Family Voice Australia