Australia to vote on same-sex marriage
Created on: 22nd August 2017
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull laid out his proposal for how Australia might change the definition of marriage under the Australian Marriage Act to include same-sex unions. Turnbull’s plan aims to appease both marriage-equality advocates and the more conservative people from the Conservative party. Many speculate that this is in order to maintain his government’s tenuous grasp on power. He is seeking to hold a non-legally binding voluntary public postal vote before an official parliamentary vote in November.
Criticism of Turnbull’s plan from all sides of the debate has been fierce and the outcome is uncertain for all parties concerned. Brian Houston, founder and senior pastor of Hillsong Church issued a statement about the upcoming vote and encouraged Christians in Australia to vote on the issue so that their voice is not silenced in society.
"I urge all Christians to be a part of the upcoming postal plebiscite on same sex marriage. Whatever your view on this issue, it is undeniably one that is important to the fabric of our social structure. Changing the definition of marriage has wide-reaching ramifications and should not be taken lightly by any society. All Australians should be a part of this process, not just a select few.
For Christians, the issue is also a matter of faith and biblical teaching, something that should never be mocked or downplayed by those with opposing views. I believe God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. The writings of the apostle Paul in Scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear, as I have mentioned in previous public statements.
Throughout this entire debate, some on both sides of the argument have failed to understand and respect the views of others. Some of those advocating for change to the definition of marriage have confused faith convictions with bigotry however they must understand that Christian – and other religious – beliefs are extremely important to those who hold them and in fact are vital to a tolerant and free society."
Former prime minister Tony Abbott has suggested both freedom of religion and freedom of speech would be at risk if same-sex marriage is legalised, and told Australians to vote No if they do not like the direction in which the country is going.
"This isn't just about marriage," he told Sydney's 2GB on Monday.
"There are lots and lots of implications here and we've got to think them through before we take this big leap into what I think is the dark."
Posted by Amanda Hopkins
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