SYDNEY, Australia, November 19, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Members of the State Legislative Council of New South Wales, Australia voted earlier this week by a narrow margin of 21 to 19 to uphold the true meaning of marriage.
Most of the MLCs who voted against the Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2013 pointed out that marriage comes under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and that a state-level redefinition of marriage would not withstand the inevitable legal challenge.
Paul Green of the Christian Democratic Party noted that marriage has been under federal jurisdiction since 1961. “Yet here we are deliberately attempting to create a law that clashes with the Federal Marriage Act. Here we are moving backwards on harmonisation, not forwards. This is not progressive; it is regressive.”
“I believe that marriage and the family is the basic unit, the foundation, the bedrock, the load-bearing beam of society. If it were to be moved it would have severe ramifications for the make-up of our social fabric,” said Green.
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He added, “once the goalposts are moved, the definition of marriage becomes completely negotiable and opens up a pandora's box. Who decides who can and who cannot marry? Who becomes the judge of that?”
MLC Ernest Wong remarked that same-sex couples in Australia already have the same rights and entitlements as heterosexual couples, but gay activists want more.
“I have maintained from the outset and always expressed my fundamental belief that this issue really should be determined by the Federal Government by a referendum,” Wong stated. “In that way we will hear the voice and opinion of every Australian to know what they think and how they perceive they will be affected by this.”
The call for a referendum is supported by the Australian Marriage Forum.
AMF spokesman Dr. David van Gend said the matter of same-sex “marriage” must be settled, once for all, by a referendum.
“I have faith in the Australian people that, faced with a choice between the demands of two men to be called a marriage and the needs of a child to have, where possible, both a mum and a dad, they will vote on behalf of the child,” van Gend said.
Details of the debate and vote on the Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2013, with names of the MLCs who voted for and against, is available on the New South Wales Hansard for November 14 here.