Tuesday May 21, 2013
The Prime Minister who rightly gave an apology to the stolen generation has sadly not thought through the fact that his new position on redefining marriage will create another.
Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said Kevin Rudd’s overnight change of mind on redefining marriage ignored the consequence of robbing children of their biological identity through same-sex surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technologies.
“What Kevin Rudd has failed to consider is that marriage is a compound right to form a family. Marriage is not just an affectionate relationship between two people regardless of gender.
“Marriage has always been about providing stability and biological identity for children wherever possible.
“What Mr Rudd has not considered is whether or not it is right for children to be taken through technology from their biological parent so that ‘married’ same-sex couples can fulfil their desires.”
Mr Shelton said Mr Rudd had also ignored the fact that this inevitably means parents will have their children taught the mechanics of homosexual sex in school sex education classes, something that would surely follow the redefinition of marriage.
“The so-called ‘marriage equality’ debate has been conducted by slogans without proper consideration of the consequences. Kevin Rudd is the latest to fall victim to shallow thinking on this issue,” Mr Shelton said.
“Mr Rudd’s announcement that he supports same sex marriage will be a huge disappointment for Christians and leaves their hopes for the preservation of marriage clearly with the Coalition and Christian-based minor parties.
“Any notion that same sex marriage can be legislated with protections for churches not to conduct the service is naive in the extreme,” said Mr Shelton.
“The UK legislation claiming to do the same was not even through the lower house when gay activists announced they had no intention of honouring that because in their view it allowed the church to discriminate against them.
“Any same sex marriage legislation will create vulnerabilities for the church and even more so for individual Christians who don’t have its institutional weight and legal identity,” Mr Shelton said.
“Wherever same sex marriage or equivalents have been legislated Christians have been pursued by activists. Christian businesses have been closed down, public servants and even pastors hauled into court and fined for exercising their conscience,” Mr Shelton said.
“No government has the right to create these vulnerabilities for the church-going twenty per cent of the population in order to allow the point two per cent who will take advantage of this to redefine marriage,” he said.
“Mr Rudd seems intent on burning bridges not only with colleagues, but with a constituency which had long given him the benefit of the doubt,” Mr Shelton said.
“Something is either true and demands our support, or not. The truth doesn’t change with popular opinion, to which he is now saying he seems to be responding.”
“If this is an attempt to wedge Julia Gillard, it will cost Mr Rudd the last of his following in the Christian Constituency,” Mr Shelton said.
His views on homosexuality and changing the definition of marriage are not in line with orthodox Christian teaching.
“All major Australian church denominations officially oppose same sex marriage and over 50 of Australia’s most prominent church and denominational leaders signed a statement against it in August 2011.”
FORMER prime minister Kevin Rudd insists his change of heart to support gay marriage is about his “personal journey” and not a political point-scoring exercise.
Mr Rudd posted a blog on Monday declaring he had changed his mind on the controversial issue and now agreed that same-sex couples should be allowed to wed so long as churches and religious institutions don’t have to marry them.
But the opposition has questioned Mr Rudd’s motivations.
Previously, Mr Rudd had been a staunch opponent to gay marriage and as recently as September 2012 voted against legalising same-sex marriage in a parliamentary vote which lost 98-42.
But he insists he has had a change of heart and wanted to let the Australian public know his new stance before a new vote in the lower house on June 6.
“If you can’t be grown up enough in the Australian national political debate … and reach an amended or changed position, then frankly you shouldn’t be in national political life,” Mr Rudd told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Mr Rudd said he wasn’t concerned his new position would put him at odds with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who has previously voted against the change.
Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan said he respected Mr Rudd’s decision and urged Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to allow coalition MPs a conscience vote on the issue.
“This is an issue where views are deeply held and that’s why it’s appropriate that we have a conscience vote in the parliament,” Mr Swan told reporters in Adelaide.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr says the parliamentary numbers may be shifting in support of legalising same-sex marriage.
Liberal frontbencher George Brandis said Mr Rudd’s comments were more about personal ambitions than about the issue of same-sex marriage.
“What it tells you is that Kevin Rudd has not given up, Kevin Rudd is at it again,” Senator Brandis told Sky News.
The Australian Christian Lobby says Mr Rudd’s announcement was a huge disappointment for Christians.
“If this is an attempt to wedge Julia Gillard, it will cost Mr Rudd the last of his following in the Christian constituency,” spokesman Lyle Shelton said in a statement.
Labor backbencher Stephen Jones, one of the key figures behind the initial gay marriage bill, said Mr Rudd had followed a path taken by many MPs who had begun instinctively with scepticism or opposition.
“At some stage over the next five years, we will have a change of law in our country,” Mr Jones said.
The House of Representatives will revisit the issue on June 6, with a vote expected on a Greens private members’ bill.