Australian Senate Passes De Facto Same-Sex “Marriage” Laws

Tue Nov 25, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST

By Hilary White

CANBERRA, November 25, 2008 ( – Two bills passed in the Australian Senate yesterday represent a step towards granting homosexual partnerships the same rights and recognitions as natural marriage. Changes have been made to around 100 family, health and taxation laws so that they now include same-sex partnerships in the provisions for opposite-sex couples living together in “de facto,” or common-law, relationships. They also confer parental rights on same sex partners who have children.

The bills would allow homosexuals to leave superannuation entitlements to partners and otherwise alter the law on taxes, social security, health, aged care and employment benefits so to treat same-sex relationships as effectively equal to marriage. The bills are only, according to one Liberal senator, the final touch to changes in family law made over the last forty years.

The bills will now go back to the House of Representatives, where they are expected to pass easily, before being sent to the Governor General for final approval.

The bills passed the Senate within a year of the election of the Australian Labour Party (ALP) government of Kevin Rudd. The previous Conservative government, led by John Howard, had amended the Marriage Act to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

The definition of marriage is not on the table according to Attorney-General Robert McClelland, who said today that redefining marriage “won’t be part of this government’s agenda.”

“The Labour Party policy is firm that marriage is between a man and a woman,” he said.

Critics of such compromises have argued, however, that once the full legal rights and privileges of marriage have been devolved on common-law partners, the notion of natural marriage holding a privileged place in law is rendered moot.

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, told that the Australian legislation is typical of western countries, in which those who perpetuate the Culture of Death go about installing their program of radical change over and above the wishes of the population.

“Normal people never ask for this stuff,” he said. “It’s always elitists, sometimes unelected officials and people working under the cover of darkness making these kinds of changes, tampering with the basic moral codes, that no one wants.”

Fr. Euteneuer said that with the election of Barack Obama and his recently announced appointments, the ordinary people in the US will be facing many of the same kinds of actions. Those who adhere to traditional Judeo-Christian values, he said, are soon going to have “very much to worry about along the same lines.”

The method used in Australia, of bringing de facto same-sex “marriage” into being through gradual changes in tax and benefits laws, is being repeated in many countries and jurisdictions around the world. Fr. Euteneuer said. “They don’t redefine marriage with the words, they just redefine it de facto in society, make the words mean what they want them to mean.”

Fr. Euteneuer said, “Unfortunately the Culture of Death and the forces of immorality are much more patient and aggressive than we are in promoting the good. These people are out there radically distorting people’s behaviour de facto. Later on it becomes incorporated into the laws.”

“It’s very easy to see that the other side is much more aggressive than we are, to our shame. We have the greatest truth and moral benefits that will change society and people for the better, but we’re weak on promoting that,” he added. 

Read related coverage:

Another Australia Bill Granting Same-Sex Rights Passes Senate as Systematic Overhaul of Marriage Continues

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