Media releases

Church call to action as battle for marriage shifts to our state

19 September 2012

In light of the defeat of the same sex marriage bill in the federal House of Representatives today, the battle for marriage reform has shifted to the States, especially New South Wales.

“We could have same-sex couples being married in Sydney before Christmas,” President of the NSW Council of Churches, Revd Dr Ross Clifford, said today.

“I urge all NSW Churches, Christians, and people of goodwill to make their views on marriage reform very clear to their local Members of Parliament. Now is the time to let our MPs know what we think about this dangerous reform introduced by the Greens. We should be concerned as the NSW Legislative Council has already passed a motion in support of gay marriage,” he said.

Dr Clifford said he believed many people in the community supported the current definition of marriage as a true reflection of Australian culture and heritage, and did not want this important institution radically changed to suit a small number of people who happened to have very loud voices on the issue.

The NSW Council of Churches had for some time taken the view that the same-sex marriage debate would more than likely be decided in the States rather than federally.

“The State legislatures are just as significant as the federal parliament on this issue. Premier O’Farrell today confirmed that NSW politicians will have a conscience vote, unlike their federal Coalition counterparts, making undesirable reform more likely in this state,” Dr Clifford said.

“Marriage between a man and a woman has significantly shaped the life of Australia as we know it today,” he said.

The NSW Council of Churches believes that marriage is a lifelong and faithful union between one man and one woman, and strongly opposes moves to change the definition of marriage in Australian law.

Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678


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