Australian Churches: Their Stance On The Same-Sex Marriage Vote

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Last week, Australians began to receive postal survey forms enabling them to have their say on whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalised. For some people, this is a matter of conscience and human rights but for others, the vote is based on their religious beliefs.

The various churches and faiths of Australia have all taken different stances and provided different reasons for how their constituents should vote. We've collated the views of eight major faiths: from Hillsong Church to the Australian National Imams Council.

Whether you're an atheist, Church goer, or somewhere in-between, it's important to unpack how the other side thinks - it's the only way a civilised debate can take place. (Even if you'd rather argue than debate, knowledge is definitely power.)

With that in mind, we've decided to list the public stance of eight Australian Church organisations on the Marriage Law Postal Survey. Please note, out intent is not to provide a soapbox for discrimination. We're simply presenting the "official" opinion of some of Australia's largest organised religions so you know precisely where they all stand on the issue.

Catholic Church of Australia

The Australian Government announced there will be a postal plebiscite on whether Australia should change marriage to include “same-sex marriage”.

Ballot papers will be sent out on Tuesday, 12 September and all votes must be received back by Tuesday, 7 November.

Please vote No, to keep marriage as a unique relationship between a woman and a man.

Marriage is:

The Church views marriage as a unique relationship between a woman and a man.

Marriage is also a fundamental institution for all societies because of its importance in uniting spouses as potential parents and in providing for the upbringing of their children. It has therefore been understood as the union of a man and a woman in all cultures and religions until very recent times and is still so defined in international law and the law of most nations.

The recognition that marriage is between a man and a woman is not the assertion of bigotry, religious dogma or irrational tradition, but a recognition of human ecology. It does not preclude persons of the same sex entering into other legal relationships.

To insist that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman is not a criticism of other kinds of relationships. By recognizing this particular type of relationship our community and its marriage laws do not unjustly discriminate against other relationships: rather, our community and its laws recognize the essential connections between male-female bonding and child-bearing, and between children and their natural parents. The Commonwealth has an interest in ensuring that children have the benefit of those connections.

Redefining marriage would deliberately create motherless or fatherless families, which would deprive children of at least one of their biological parents, and would put the preferences or interests of adults before the right and interests of children.


How To Talk With Religious Conservatives About LGBT Rights

Discussing LGBT rights in conservative religious communities can be particularly challenging, both for people who are newly out and for those of us who simply wish that everyone would just hurry up and get with the civil-rights program. One can feel that those who reject the rights of LGBT people on religious grounds are using dogma as a fig leaf to hide their bigotry, and in many cases that's probably true. But there remain a large number of people raised in religious traditions who nonetheless have changed their views on the place of LGBT people in the broader community -- and even in the narrower world of their church community.

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Hillsong Church, Senior Pastor Brian Houston

In less than a month, Australians will receive the ballot papers which gives us all the ability to cast a vote on the issue of same sex marriage. Hillsong Church already functions well and without impediment in other parts of the world where same sex marriage is legal, and as long as we are not forced through legislation to compromise our biblical convictions, we can quite comfortably continue to function whatever the outcome of this plebiscite.

However it must be emphasised that for Christians to obtain an outcome consistent with their beliefs, they must vote. I believe that many Australians who are often referred to as the ‘silent majority’ feel strongly on this subject but allow louder and often more aggressive voices to control the public dialogue. This plebiscite provides us all with an equal voice and we should not waste this opportunity.


Marriage Equality: A Christian's Perspective

Our country is about to engage in a public debate that has the potential to be incredibly spiteful and harmful. On one side, we have those who say that any pair of adults, regardless of gender, should be able to legally marry. On the other, are those who want to retain the legal status quo and maintain marriage as the legal union of one woman to one man.

In general, Christians are characterised as wanting the maintain the current legal definition. But that's a generalisation that will fuel further divisions in our already fracturing society.

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Uniting Church of Australia

The Uniting Church has for some time been conducting its own independent discernment on marriage.

We acknowledge that there is a diversity of opinion in our Uniting Church community on the issue of same-gender marriage.

We have always tried to maintain a respectful conversation on this subject between the councils of our Church and to work constructively across our membership.

In our current conversations on marriage the Uniting Church is seeking to hold a ‘space for grace’ - engaging in respectful conversations with one another, guided by the Spirit, sharing our stories and understanding of marriage and same-gender relationships in culturally appropriate ways.

Our commitment to our own process of prayerful discernment means that Uniting Church leaders will not be recommending any position to members in relation to the 2017 postal plebiscite, should one take place.

The Uniting Church in Australia currently understands marriage as ‘the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of a man and a woman to live together for life’.

We are also committed to being an inclusive Church that embraces LGBTIQ people as full members and to culturally appropriate discussion about relationships and marriage across our diversity.

We will consider carefully the implications of any future changes to the Marriage Act.

Regardless of any legislation change, we will continue our own process of discernment in relation to same-gender marriage in a way that reflects the Uniting Church’s commitment to uphold Christian values and principles.

These values and principles include the unique worth of every human being, religious liberty and personal dignity, and a concern for the welfare of the whole creation.


What To Do If You Don't Have Your Same-Sex Marriage Survey Form [Updated]

By now, many of you will have already received your Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. But what if you accidentally lost it? Or what if it never arrived in the post? Fortunately, it's possible to request a replacement form from the ABS. Here are the steps you need to take to receive a new form.

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Seventh-day Adventist Church Australia

Proposed changes to the Marriage Act, allowing the marriage of two persons without regard to gender, are drawing significant media attention and public debate after the Australian Government committed to a plebiscite on the issue at the most recent federal election. Representatives from a range of political and community groups are speaking out on the topic of marriage. Some openly support introducing same-sex marriage while others strongly advocate that Australia retain the current legal definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. It’s an issue that’s being discussed not only in government circles but also in schools, universities, hotels, hospitals, private homes and in our churches.

With growing pressure within society to change the definition of marriage, we, as leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia, felt that it was important to restate and reaffirm the Church’s view on this issue. As a result, we have produced this small booklet, which we submit for thoughtful and prayerful reflection. The intent of the booklet is to present a biblical perspective on marriage and to help you understand some of the potential consequences of redefining marriage, including the implications for freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.

We live in a messy and imperfect world. We recognise these are complex issues but it’s important to talk about them. The topic of marriage is one of the most vital conversations we can have, but we need to approach it respectfully, reflecting God’s love for all people. We hope that this booklet will support you in the conversations you’re having in church, the workplace, over the fence and at the school gate.


Presbyterian Church of Australia, Moderator-General John Wilson

“The General Assembly urges congregations to support the ‘No’ case in opposing the redefinition of marriage.”

Without binding consciences, please read the following as a request from the PCA that when the government asks for your opinion that you consider supporting the “NO” vote.

The Australian Government plans to conduct a postal vote seeking the opinion of Australians on marriage. Ballot papers will begin arriving at our homes on 12 September, just a month from now.

The Presbyterian Church of Australia opposes the introduction of legislation for so called ‘same-sex marriage’. We affirm that the true definition of marriage is found in God’s Word: the life-long union of one man with one woman, voluntarily entered into, excluding all others.

It’s important to urge every Presbyterian Christian to engage in the process and vote, and to “support the NO case”. We ask every attendee at church to both register and vote, and then seek to persuade as many of their family and friends to do likewise.

There’s no doubt that the postal vote can be won in favour of the current definition. There is a large number of Australians, many of whom have not had their say, who affirm the common view of marriage as God-given and God-blessed.

Your participation will make a difference, but we need you to be earnest, active and in prayer about it. There are many powerful voices clamouring to tear down what God declares to be holy. The church must not be silent on this.

While we speak up and have our say, we do so with a gracious engagement and with respect for those with whom we disagree.


Same Sex Marriage Vote: How To Get Your Democracy Sausage

There are few things more Australian than the democracy sausage. Snagging a snag while exercising your right to vote has become one of our nation's most beloved traditions. Unfortunately, there will be no democracy sausage during this week's same sex marriage survey. Only compulsory elections and referendums receive this honour. Boo!

With that said, there are still ways to procure a democracy sausage when you pop your vote into the post. Here are three viable options for your consideration.

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Lutheran Church, Bishop John Henderson

It is understandable if Australians, and along with them the members of the Lutheran Church, are ever so slightly confused about what is going on. Coupled with that confusion are rising concerns about a lack of guarantees of religious freedom in the possible legislation, and a raft of consequences which would effectively hinder the work of the church in society, including welfare, education and public debate.

The Lutheran Church has never been alarmist. Because of our faith we can always see the hand of God at work. We have worshipped, worked, and served in Australia now for 180 years, in which time we have seen and weathered many changes. We will also weather this change, should it happen. We will increase our focus on God’s grace in his Son Jesus Christ, and the promise which does not decay, spoil, or fade away.

When it comes to the popular vote, individual members of the LCA will vote according to their conscience, but the church and its pastors continue to teach that marriage is the union of a man and a woman voluntarily entered into for life. We know that our human weakness means that such marriages are not perfect, but they remain God’s good design for the well-being of the human race.

They also released this statement, in 2015, in regards to their position on conducting same sex marriages:

So if the government were to change the law on marriage, the LCA would not be obligated to change its position on marriage. LCA pastors will not conduct same sex weddings. The legal requirement under which a religious celebrant conducts a marriage is that it be in accordance with the rites of the Church.


Anglican Church, Archbishop of Sydney The Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies

Most Australians love Jesus’ teaching that we should “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. It’s a good principle to live by.

Jesus also taught that “no one has greater love than that they lay down their life for their friends”. This too is widely recognised as a worthy aspiration for us all. You’ll find it set in stone on lots of ANZAC monuments in our towns and cities.

Similarly Jesus’ teaching on marriage is something we all respect: “What God has joined together, let no one tear asunder”. Somehow, we all know that this is right.

Jesus said that from the beginning marriage has been the result of a man leaving his mother and father, joining to a woman and the two becoming one flesh. So faithfulness is a good thing. Enduring together is a good thing. And a partnership between two people of the opposite sex is a good thing. We shouldn’t tear apart this good thing that God has put together.

Once this was obvious for all Australians. Now Australians are hearing voices say that marriage is not about a man and a woman; that gender doesn’t matter at all to marriage. A new definition of marriage is being put forward, which claims that it is simply about two people who love each other and want to commit to each other. These advocates want the Government to change the legal definition of marriage so that can happen.

This is a big change. And it’s a long way from the good picture of marriage given to us by Jesus and the Bible – that God gave marriage to men and women, for their own good, for the good of children and for the good of human society. If we love our neighbours we will want good things for them. So we should be prepared to speak up for God’s good plan for marriage in the conversation our country is now having.

But how do we do this? How do we explain the relevance of God’s pattern for marriage to a secular nation? What does the Bible really say about marriage? And how can we answer questions people have – especially from those who don’t believe in God? What are the consequences for everyone if we don’t speak and the definition of marriage is changed? The material on this website goes some way to helping Sydney Anglicans in the conversations we’re having in the workplace, over the fence and at the school gate. I commend this material to you and encourage you to talk about the goodness of marriage for all Australians.


Australian National Imams Council

The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) affirms that Islam sanctifies marriage as only being between a man and a woman. This has been the view held by all major faiths including the traditional Judaeo-Christian beliefs and other traditions throughout human history.

The Quranic revelations and Prophetic teachings with regard to the institution of marriage make this clear. Islam places the family unit at the heart of a healthy society, and in this context, the right of children to be cared for and raised by both a mother and father is one that must be protected. Islam also explicitly and unambiguously states that marital relationship is only permissible between a man and woman; any other marital relationships are islamicly impermissible.

ANIC strongly believes that all members of our pluralistic society should be able to express their views on marriage, in a respectful manner and without fear of reprisal or unwarranted criticism which fails to respond to the issues at hand. We therefore call for respectful and responsible dialogue.

How To Vote 'Yes' In The Same-Sex Marriage Survey

There’s currently a rumour spreading like wildfire through Facebook and other social media services that voting ‘YES’ in the upcoming same-sex marriage survey could result in your vote counting against legalising same-sex marriage. That is not the case.

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Comments

    Thank you for posting this!

    Interesting reading all the views, a lot more nuanced than i expected.

    For contrast, would love to see if there were any publicly identifiable records of statements like these from the churches upon the introduction of inter-racial marriage etc...

      That would actually be really interesting.

      The church never banned inter-racial marriages. That was something that was introduced by governments (United States, Germany, etc) for different reasons.

        True, they were too busy doing things like taking aboriginal children (and mixed children) from communities against their will.

        Churches also didn't argue against inter-racial marriage being banned by the government at the time...

    Redefining marriage would deliberately create motherless or fatherless families

    The Catholic Church has had too much communion wine! Do they think ending the discrimination against same sex couples will allow them to sprout the extra reproductive organs needed to create a family?

    Let's assume they're talking about this leading to easier adoption for same sex couples, it's still a very negative viewpoint. They would rather a child stay at an orphanage with no parents rather than having two parents of the same sex?

      They would rather a child stay at an orphanage with no parents rather than having two parents of the same sex?

      "Send the orphans to us. We'll look after them. Promise" - Catholic Church.

      You should be bashing the LNP for their approach to same sex marriage. Instead of allowing deliberation and (quite possibly) reaching a consensus they are dividing Australians.

        Yep and by making it a postal survey not a plebiscite it is not only not legally binding but it is exempt from the advertising standards needed for an election.

        Oh well hopefully it's a resounding Yes and we rejoin the rest of the civilised world by allowing SSM, I'm sick of being in the same bigotry boat of No countries like North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq etc...

          Those countries make it illegal to even be gay. They get jailed or worse. That is totally not what this country is like.

            According to the No campaign, if we vote yes then our country becomes exactly the same as the other yes countries.

            So logically if we vote no, we'll be the same as all the No countries.

    Appreciate the post! Happy to engage in conversation with the Anglican post in particular (the one I'm most familiar with).

    Thank you. This article was a long time coming, and apart from "the other side thinks" statement, which shows what side you are on, refreshingly unbiased. This is something that I feel has been missing in the debate, objectivity, which separates good journalism from bad. Hope there is more of this on this site, rather than the rubbish produced by some other contributors. Good job Jackson.

    I'm glad someone was finally able to deliver a neutral article on such a divisive topic, without trying to lead people to make a decision either way.
    But I think that in all the hype, people have forgotten one important fact: this postal "vote" is not actually a vote, it's a 'survey'. It's designed to gauge the public opinion in order to give the government some idea as to whether or not there is any point in attempting to pass changes to the marriage law.
    It might be worth remembering that.

    Let's get down to the very nitty gritty of all this, just who is affected by same-sex marriage? I can tell you now it has no effect on me, it has no effect on the Church (any bloody church) it has no effect on anyone except those people in a relationship that they want to legally ratify. The fact is, the world won't implode, the churches will still be doing their job and you and I will go about our lives as usual.

      You say that but I just spent a heap on summer clothes for my son. If this passes and he has to start wearing dresses it's going to cost me a fortune!

      Last edited 20/09/17 12:43 pm

        Umm, what? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm going to assume you meant dresses? If so then... what?

          Yes I meant dresses.

          Haven't you seen the no ad? The one where the woman is appalled that her son's school said he can wear a dress if he wants to?

          I was joking that if SSM is legalised all boys will have to wear dresses. Sarcastically referencing the fears of some "No" campaigners

            Yeah, was kinda hoping that's what you meant. Just needed to be sure ;)

        Ha! You could sell them to the girls’ parents.

      Im all for SSM but I'm not for them being able to sue people based on discrimination because they don't want to wed them or make them a cake or something. Currently in America this is a wedding cake maker being sued because he didn't want to make a cake for a SSM because of his religious creed, he politely declined them service and they said its discrimination. Also don't want there to be a law that forces churches or religious places that says they have to do same sex weddings regardless of belief. I don't see any other religious places saying in, like muslim mosques.

        You're missing my point, regardless of the church or the pastry shop's views, SSM does not actually affect them, their lives or their businesses. I really don't understand why the church is happy to have gays etc. practice their beliefs there, but not respect their right to be a married couple, it makes no logical sense. At least that's my view anyway.

          Say a good looking person of the same sex as me wishes to have sex with me, and I decline because I only have sex with people of the opposite sex to me. Obviously I'm discriminating against them based on sexual preference so will I now be legally liable?

            What? How old are you?

              Shouldn't you be buying me a drink first?

          That's because, to the church "marriage" = making babies. That's a grossly simplified definition though. But, by that definition, marriage has to be only between a man and a woman. That definition (to the church anyway) is not going to change.

          The union of 2 people outside the church is a completely different matter. For this vote, the term "marriage" is different to the church's definition. So by all means, vote "yes" or "no", depending on what you think is right.

            What church has that view? Our church has run evenings where a sexologist comes in and does a talk about how to enjoy sex more in marriage. I don't think she even mentioned conception. She was pretty hilarious though, which probably helps with subject matter which would make some blush.

          Since when did anything any religion preaches make any logical sense. The belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing imaginary sky fairy makes no logical sense, especially given what humans do to each other and every other species on the planet, which is apparently allowed to happen by said sky fairy. Anyone with any level of analytical reasoning ability can only come to the conclusion that god is simply a fantasy being created initially to help the ignorant masses make sense of the world around them, then later used by the the religious organisations to effect control over said masses for the collection of wealth and power. I feel sad for anyone who can't see that.

          On the subject of SSM, no-one has the right to say that two people can't be married, to say that means you are saying they are less than equal to everyone who is in a "normal" (hetero) marriage. That is simply discrimination, you can spin it however you like, but the failure to accept SSM is a failing of the person who won't accept it, caused by their preconceived ideas and bigoted attitudes. It doesn't matter if you don't like the idea of SSM, you have no right to tell two people they can't be married. That's what opponents of SSM fail to grasp.

            I think you may have replied to the wrong commenter, otherwise you are pretty much preaching to the converted mate.

        Currently in America this is a wedding cake maker being sued because he didn't want to make a cake for a SSM because of his religious creed,

        So one incident of a cake maker being a ahole to a customer means we should not have SSM? BTW, you should try researching that story more. That cake maker would have been sued even if SSM was legal due to America's anti discrimination laws we pre date SSM being legal. They guy would have still been sure prior to SSM

        Also don't want there to be a law that forces churches or religious places that says they have to do same sex weddings regardless of belief.

        Which is why the legislation has exemptions for such a thing. I dont know why you think gay couples would want to wed in a church anyway. The churches have made it quite obvious they dont support them so youd have to be a fool to attempt to get married there after that.

        Stick to facts and leave the strawman arguments behind. Its no different to claims from the no side that SSM will lead to boys being forced to wear dresses.

          I'm pretty sure the exemptions don't apply to a random business that doesn't like SSM. It's for the church not wanting to marry them. If I am wrong, please correct me, but I can't see that ever being the case here.

        Australia already has anti discrimination laws that prevent these kind of things. If I went to a florist to by flowers for my same sex civil union today and the florist refused me service on the grounds that their tax free imaginary friends club said what I was doing was wrong then they'd be in trouble. Allowing SSM wouldn't change that.

          Thats what I think is a grey area. Should you be allowed as a gay couple to take someone to court for 'discrimination' because the person in questions believes by selling you their service they will be going to hell or damning there soul in the eyes of god. To me thats a grey area.

            It's not a grey area. A church can refuse to marry anybody they want. If they don't like the size of your nose, they can decline to marry you, so that has nothing to do with SSM being legalized.

            As for selling cakes, refusing to sell anybody anything based on their orientation (or race, or gender, or socioeconomic status... and yes there are still people like that) is not only already illegal, but it also makes you a terrible person.

            In case you were worried, you will NOT go to hell for selling a cake. You might cause diabetes, but that's about it.

        As far as I'm aware there's no religion that prohibits the sale of cake to homosexuals?

        John Oliver did an episode about the USA, post SSM, was quite interesting how much discrimination still exists against same sex couples in their legal system, this cake store worker has it easy.

        Just wondering, based on my religious beliefs, can I politely decline serving a customer because they've cheated on their spouse? If a baker wants to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, then I should be able to refuse my services to adulterers also.

          Yes you can. Adulterers are not a protected class. You can refuse services to anyone as long as they are not a protected class. Some of those things are age, sex, orientation, religions etc.

    I'm amazed by how many people that call themselves religious have never read the Bible. If they did then chances are they wouldn't be religious anymore. Why would a woman want to believe in the Bible when it states that women are just here for men to play with. I wonder how many feminists think they're religious. The church should not have a say in anything and they should ban children from any religious teaching. When they become an adult, then they could choose but if they did ban children from religion, religion would die overnight and that's what needs to happen.

      Exactly. They claim that the bible says Homosexuality is wrong but the bible also says slavery is all good. Bible folk are a hypocritical lot.

        They're also good about incest. Maybe that's where the priests got their ideas from.

          Yup, If the supposed adam and eve story is true (As they claim, That means their Adam and eve's children either:

          A: Procreated with each other
          OR
          B: Procreated with Adam and Eve.

          Christianity! We hate homosexuals but love incest!

            Of course the kids procreated with each other. Incest was not an issue back then as their were no defects in their DNA that result in horrible mutations like there are these days.

        Ned Flanders -
        "I've done everything the Bible says! Even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!"

    thanks for the post, very informative.

    So are some of these churches against straight atheists marrying, because its a religious institution?

      Don't expect logic from institutions that conclude that marriage is only between a man and a woman because that was the only combination that Jesus mentioned. It's the same as saying that Jesus only used a Samaritan for his salvation metaphor therefor one has to be a Samaritan to be a good Samaritan.

      Catholic church only marries catholics. Athiest catholics are ok, just dont mention it to the priest.

    Catholics - Vote No
    Hillsong - Vote
    Uniting Church - Er, give us a moment
    7th Day Adventists - Read our book
    Lutherans - Vote how you want. We're not doing it.
    Presbyterians - Vote No
    Islam - Vote No

    The mistake here is that they think that God invented marriage.

    It's generally a key problem with religion. You either believe in God or you're a liar. When you explain that this vote is about non-religious marriage they don't understand because they still see marriage as a purely religious thing.

      Exactly. Marriage has been a thing way before religion stole it. In fact, Nero married his boyfriend back in the days beginning with Christianity. Gay marriage has been around for eons.

    Glad to see that at least some of the heads of churches are taking a respectable approach to all this (Specifically the Uniting and Lutheran churches) and not pressuring their followers one way or another. Well at least the heads of them, can't really say the same for each individual church but at least it's something. As for the Catholic church...well, bunch of flamin' galahs if you ask me

    Not entirely sure why Gizmodo have posted this (gadgets?). But a fair summary of what some of the major faith traditions are saying.

      Yes, Probably more of a lifehacker article.

    None of my religious friends seem to care what their church or synagogue or temple says and all appear to be voting based on their own personal moral compass. "I take everything with a pinch of salt" "We all pick the bits out of the Bible that suit us" were two comments I roughly remember.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (often known as the Mormons) have said this:
    http://www.mormonnewsroom.org.au/article/pacific-area-presidency-sends-letter-to-australian-latter-day-saints-on-marriage-and-family
    The following letter was sent by the Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in Australia, to be read during worship services on either Sunday 10 September or Sunday 17 September:

    Counsel to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia regarding the upcoming postal vote on the legal definition of marriage.

    Because Australian adults will soon have the opportunity to participate in a postal vote on the legal definition of marriage, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints re-states and re-affirms that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

    The Church also teaches that “children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honour marital vows with complete fidelity.”

    Church members should address the issue of same-sex marriage with respect and civility and should treat all people with love and humanity.

    We urge Church members to vote their conscience and let their voices be heard on this critical issue.

    Sincerely,

    The Pacific Area Presidency

    Essentially: The Church's position is marriage is between a man and a woman, but vote based on what you think is the right thing to do.

    I have read all the way through this page including the comments and what stands out is that the Yes voters are looking like the actual bigots at least the ones that have commented here. The No voters seem to write here with respect for the other view but the Yes voters ridicule the No voters. If Australia is a Democracy then each side in a debate has a view that should be respected even if not agreed with. I myself will vote No both for traditional, religious, and common sense reasons. Marriage has been between a Man and Woman for Millennia, Most Religions around the world say Man and Woman, The World Organisation for Human rights has never once acknowledged Same Sex Marriage. And Common sense says that if we all were same sex relationships from the beginning then we wouldn't be here discussing it because we wouldn't have born any children. The Law of the wild dictates opposite sex unions and that is why nature survives. On the subject of the cake seller, if they were Religious then by all means they can refuse to sell to any person that lived not in accordance with their faith. In most Religions you are forgiven when you inadvertently make a mistake but are punished for doing wrong knowingly, and to support or encourage someone that you know acts not in accordance with your faith is the same as aiding and abetting a criminal in an unlawful act. I am not saying that same sex couples are doing wrong, just that from a perspective of faith in most religions the Cake shop guy mentioned above would be committing a (let us say Illegal act) in his religion or faith. My opinion is that Same sex couples should call their Union by a Unique name that is all their own, it would be more special to that fraternity just as we who have called Marriage between a Man and Woman for life as our forebears have for Millennia hold the word Marriage special to ourselves and the Meaning of Man and Woman. A car is a car, in 10 or 20 years will we want to call our personal jetpacks cars to make ourselves feel better? And when we create a precedent buy ordaining that the Meaning of the word Marriage can be changed, then we can change it again in court when Someone wants to Marry a Goat! The word means Man And Woman, I don't oppose other relationships, I don't oppose the acknowledgement of a New Word for different relationships. It is just like the word GAY, it used to mean happy, and I don't suppose that all Gay people are Happy universally?

      "On the subject of the cake seller, if they were Religious then by all means they can refuse to sell to any person that lived not in accordance with their faith" Not in the eyes of the law! The entire plebiscite is about legal equality, I can't believe the amount of people who want to tack on their own imaginary 'what if's' to this issue.

    I'm amazed at the denigration of people here who believe something other than these amazing bodies of ours just happened to spring up out of dust. The undercurrent against God is amazing. Read what you have written in there -not one gram of logic or decent argument. Just denigrate and push others down. Keep doing it guys on every forum and the silent voters who say nothing here will come out of the closet in droves. Some of you are the best thing for the "no" case going.
    This has nothing to do with equality under the law and everything to do with the meaning of one simple word. "marriage"
    The gay community is no content with wrecking the meaning of words like gay and rainbow -they won't be happy until they have pissed all over my lounge room floor by wrecking our sacred word. Yell all you want but God put this into being when he molded these intricate human bodies in male and female form a long time ago.

    Have the word garriage for two gay men
    Have the word larriage for two lesbians
    Have the word marriage for man and woman -problem solved
    ALl have equal right under the law and all are happy.

    BUT no -you want to piss over my lounge room floor and desecrate the meaning of the word that I made the only vow in my life to 40 years ago.

    You want to do with the word marriage what has been done to the word gay.

    A person in my family was named gay so I know about it first hand.

    This is nothing about equality. I have worked with refugees and fought for them for years. I will continue to fight for any injustice I see. BUT to change retrospectively the word that means so much to me ...... its not on. I would be the first to make sure that every Australian has equal rights under the law BUT not when it effects the rights of others or offends their religion. Changing the meaning of the word marriage is offensive to many Australians - you only need to fight in court to get true equity. Go and do it. You will find that many Australians will look for a new word to say their vows under if the yes vote gets up. Make up your own word guys and leave the meaning of mine alone. I'm all for the equal rights for you in your new word - but the truth is -I think you already have most of that. I would have real respect if you were fighting for the meticulous parts of the law that you have been left out of. ie the legal right to estates in the case of a partner dying.
    No -you dont do that -you want to stick it to another group in the community that don;t want the word changed.

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