Significant victories against
by Dwight A. Randall
Christians should rejoice that two federal bills to legalise same-sex marriage have both been resoundingly defeated.
The first bill, introduced by Labor backbencher Stephen Jones, was defeated in the House of Representatives by 98 votes to 42 on 19 September 2012. Ten of the 17 Cabinet Ministers in the Lower House voted for the bill, along with independents Andrew Wilkie, Rob Oakeshott and Craig Thomson, and Green Adam Bandt.All coalition MPs, joined by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Treasurer Wayne Swan and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd voted against the bill.
Liberal Senator Cori Bernardi, who has been under attack by the main stream media, and shamefully even by some members of his own party, spoke strongly in defence of traditional marriage. He said, “I have always been a strong supporter of traditional marriage and its current definition, being a union between a man and a woman.Marriage is accorded a special place in our society because it is a union that is orientated towards having children, thereby ensuring the continuation of our population and civilisation.Society benefits from marriage, so marriage is accorded benefits by society.”
On the following day, 20 September 2012, a private members bill sponsored by Labor backbenchers Trish Crossin, Carol Brown and Gavin Marshall was defeated in the Senate by 41 votes to 26. This means that, between the Senate and the House of Representatives, a total of 139 Federal MPs opposed the two bills, while only 68 supported them, a ratio of slightly over 2 to 1!
Labor Senator John Hogg, who is the President of the Senate and so generally does not speak on legislation, declared his opposition to same-sex marriage. “I have a deep-seated belief that marriage is between a man and a woman exclusively,” he said.
“I utterly reject the offensive language of some of those supporting the bill that people who share my views are discriminatory or homophobic.
“This is … a desperate resort to try and isolate those who don’t share their views.”
Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan also spoke well.He said, “we have endured a non-stop campaign of denigration against those who have refused to buckle under the weight of an attack designed to pour scorn and guilt on those who have the temerity to refuse to deny their principles …”
“Nowhere in the Marriage Act is the word love even mentioned.The reason the state is involved in marriage is because it is a partnership with social consequences.
“Marriage is less about the rights of the adult than about the rights and responsibilities those adults have towards the children of the relationship.”
Homosexual activists, stinging from the two successive defeats, said they would now look to state and territory parliaments to make the change.
But Augusto Zimmerman, a Senior Lecturer at MurdochUniversity in Western Australia, in an article titled, “Marriage Laws: State same-sex marriage laws are unconstitutional”, wrote,
“The Tasmanian Labor Government, led by Premier Lara Giddings, has long been pushing for legislation for state-based same-sex marriage.The problem is that any such legislation would be subject to disallowance by the High Court were a challenge to be mounted.”
He concludes that:
* The Commonwealth Parliament has the power to pass any law dealing with the subject-matter of marriage.
* Commonwealth law supersedes contradictory state or territory law.
* Under the Marriage Act 2004, the Australian states have no power to legislate for same-sex marriages
* If a state or territory passes a same-sex marriage law, such an act would be struck down by the High Court as inconsistent with the Commonwealth legislation.
The defeat of the same-sex marriage bills in the House of Representatives and in the Senate is a significant defeat for militant homosexuals, and Christians who lobbied their local members of parliament played an important part in that defeat. If Christians continue to be vigilant and to engage in political debate, more victories may be won, for the blessing of the nation and to the glory of God.