3 May 2012
The NSW Council of Churches has urged church leaders to publicly oppose a motion by Greens MLC the Hon. Cate Faehrmann supporting same sex marriage and calling on the federal parliament to extend the legal definition of marriage to include same sex couples.
The motion, set for debate in the May sittings of the NSW Legislative Council, could be voted on as early as today.
“What many people may not know is that we have good reason to believe that both Liberal and Labor MPs will be allowed a conscience vote on the motion. The Premier is on record as confirming that he would allow a conscience vote on the Faehrmann motion, and we have asked him to clarify whether this is still the case,” President of the NSW Council of Churches, Revd Dr Ross Clifford, said.
“If a conscience vote proceeds in the NSW Upper House, there is great concern that the motion will pass. This would provide strong momentum for an early change to the federal Marriage Act,” Dr Clifford said.
Mr Marshall Ballantine-Jones, Executive Director of Media for Anglican Youthworks, and a member of the NSW Council of Churches executive, said it was staggering to think that so-called informed MPs actually entertained such an extreme and cruel motion.
“Marriage is not about gay rights, it’s about children. Professor Patrick Parkinson’s recently published report, For Kid’s Sake, leaves no ambiguity. Children raised outside of a traditional marriage have alarmingly increased rates of self-harm, substance abuse, mental illnesses, and premature sexual activity. Statistics don’t lie – children ideally need a biological mother and a father. If anything, politicians should be moving to strengthen traditional marriage,” Mr Ballantine-Jones said.
“Once society dilutes the uniqueness of traditional marriage into obscurity through this erroneous motion, there goes the last bastion of hope for a better future for children,” Mr Ballantine-Jones said.
Dr Clifford said he had asked church leaders to write to members of parliament indicating their opposition to the Faehrmann motion, and said he urged all concerned NSW citizens to do the same.
“I have no doubt that a number of members of the NSW Upper House would be very pleased to hear from church leaders and concerned citizens on this matter,” Dr Clifford said.
Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678