Australia...Don't Mess with Marriage!
LATEST NEWS - October 8, 2015 - On September 14, our then-Prime Minister, Tony Abbott (who courageously supported authentic marriage), was deposed by his own Liberal Party, by 54 votes to 44, in favour of Malcolm Turnbull, who supports same-sex "marriage". Turnbull initiated the spill when he ascertained that he had sufficient numbers. He is now Prime Minister.
Fortunately, the Liberals govern in a Coalition with the National Party, who locked the Liberals into retaining a promise of a referendum on marriage after the next election. If the opposition Labor Party win the election, however, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage will be introduced in Parliament within 100 days, and there will be no referendum.
Archbishop Julian Porteous. in the Diocese of Broken Bay in Tasmania, is now being taken to the Anti-Discrimination Board by a Federal Greens Party candidate and transgender activist, Martine Delaney, because the Archbishop distributed "Don't Mess with Marriage" to parents of children in Catholic schools. The persecution has begun.
There is a petition to stand with Archbishop Porteous here: http://standwithporteous.com/
LATEST UPDATE - August 20, 2015 - Thankfully a bill to legalise same-sex “marriage” was not debated in Parliament, thanks to the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and a governing Coalition majority standing firm on authentic marriage in accordance with an electoral mandate from the last election. We now hope that the issue will be put to the people in a referendum after the next election, if the current government is re-elected.
UPDATE - August 15, 2015 - A cross party bill to legalise same-sex “marriage” is to be introduced into Parliament next week, when it will be debated. Proponents of the bill have been exerting much pressure on the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and Members of the governing Coalition (Liberal and National Parties) to allow a free vote, which was expected to push the legislation over the line. Thankfully the Coalition parties at a joint meeting, rejected a free vote, which means that Cabinet Ministers are bound to vote for retaining the Marriage Act between one man and one woman, or resign from their position. As a result we hope that SSM supporters will not have the numbers to pass the bill.
In the lead-up to this debate, the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference has published a robust, common-sense letter in defence of marriage as between one man and one woman. The pastoral letter, called, "Don't Mess with Marriage," is addressed to "All Australians", and not just to Catholics.
Our petition is written to support the Bishops' promotion of their pastoral letter in churches and schools, as well as in any other venue which will receive it. And, this petition also calls on the clergy to continue to be stong leaders on these fundamental issues as they speak out in the public square, as debate over changing the Marriage Act now intensifies.
As major figures in the moral life of society and as leaders of some of the largest non-state institutions, the Catholic Bishops not only have a right to speak out on the proposed changes to the Marriage Act, they also have a duty to debate sociological, political and legal changes which can affect the common good.
In this light, the Bishops' statement simply clarifies what has been the established philosophy and practice on marriage in the West since time immemorial. Specifically, the Bishops make a clear distinction, again and again, between genuine marriage and same-sex friendships.
In one of the more striking passages, they say:
"Their [husbands and wives] physical, spiritual, psychological and sexual differences show they are meant for each other, their union makes them whole, and through their union ‘in one flesh’ they together beget children who are ‘flesh of their flesh’. They share the sameness of humanity but enjoy the difference of their masculinity and femininity, being husband and wife, paternity and maternity. Same-sex friendships are of a very different kind: to treat them as the same does a grave injustice to both kinds of friendship and ignores the particular values that real marriages serve." (p. 9)
With some frequency, the letter returns to the importance of being able to make distinctions between things that are the same and things that are different. Each time, however, the conclusion is the same: though we are called to treat everyone with equal dignity because of our same humanity, we must still acknowledge that marriage and same-sex friendship are different.
However, some people refuse to accept that similar things, while similar in some ways, can also be different in very fundamental ways. And, some of these same people seem intent on shutting down this discussion altogether.
For example, while Rodney Croome, the national director of Australian Marriage Equality, has said (in relation to the Bishops' pastoral letter) that, "the Catholic Church has every right to express its views," he goes on to attack Church teaching as, "a danger to students." He also calls on students, parents and teachers to file complaints to the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner - for, of all the unbelievable things, the Catholic Church disseminating its own teaching on sexual ethics at Catholic schools.
It should be noted here that what Mr. Croome actually said about the Church expressing its views was: "The Catholic Church has every right to express it views from the pulpit..."
This is same kind of rhetoric heard by other activists, in different jurisdictions, who want to limit the freedom of speech of Church leaders, priests and pastors to places of worship only. In other words, this type of talk can be used to shut down the religious liberty of people of faith from every denomination.
And, it is for this very reason that we are sponsoring this urgent petition. The freedoms of conscience and speech, as well as religious freedom, all meet together in this very basic issue. We need to stand up for those defending genuine marriage and our fundamental freedoms.
When you sign this petition, the Catholic Bishops Conference will know that you are standing with them on these most fundamental issues. It will also send on prayerful good wishes as they prepare, in the coming days, to defend genuine marriage as between one man and one woman.
Thank you for signing.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Click here and scroll down for the section on Bishops' Statements. Then, click on the pastoral letter, "Don't Mess with Marriage": https://www.catholic.org.au/
Sign this petition now!
Petition to: Australian Bishops Conference