19 April 2013
The NSW Council of Churches today expressed strong disappointment at a decision by Premier Barry O’Farrell to support same sex marriage in NSW amid concerns over the constitutionality of such law reform.
“We call on Premier O’Farrell not to support parliamentary action on same sex marriage laws in NSW as there is legal confusion on the issue. 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 Reverend Dr Ross Clifford, said.
“The last thing we need is a High Court challenge over doubtful state laws and waste of taxpayers’ money in defending flawed legislation. There is also the problem of legal recognition of NSW marriages in other states should this state proceed with same sex marriage laws.”
“There are many priority issues for the NSW Government to address. Gay marriage is not one of them. The strong vote against same sex marriage by federal NSW MPs when the issue was voted on in the federal parliament in 2012 indicates that the people of NSW do not want same sex marriage.”
Dr Clifford also called on federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to remain firm in his support for the current definition of marriage in federal law.
Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678