Low turnout for Greens’ same-sex marriage forumWednesday, September 14, 2011
The imposing presence of Tasmania’s champion axeman David Foster couldn’t disguise the low turnout at a Greens’ same-sex marriage forum in Hobart last night.
“Less than 80 people turned up,” said Jim Collins, Tasmania state officer for FamilyVoice Australia. “And that included panellists, a number of media representatives and few who would oppose any change to our current marriage law,” Mr Collins said.
“Where are the claimed vast numbers of Tasmanians crying out for these radical reforms?”
Denison Greens MP Cassy O’Connor hosted the forum, whose panel included Tasmanian Greens Leader, Nick McKim, lawyer Greg Barns, gay activist Rodney Croome as well as heterosexual axeman David Foster, whose support for same-sex marriage began when he discovered his own daughter was in a lesbian relationship. He is “just a dad standing up for his kids… and I love my daughter”.
Mr McKim said he would re-introduce the same-sex marriage debate into Tasmania’s state parliament “as soon as possible – we’re aiming for next Wednesday” – while admitting that a shift in political opinion is “unlikely at this stage”.
During question time, local Christian leader Campbell Markham challenged the panel to consider how changing the laws for same-sex couples would affect innocent children. “The deliberate denial of children’s right to be raised by their own mum and dad is a grave injustice. It’s not in their best interests – and that’s what we must consider here,” Mr Markham said.
Jim Collins said it was very sad to hear the tragic stories of individuals who have suffered the pain of rejection and abuse, or a sense of confusion about their sexual identity.
“But the dismantling of the time-honoured institution of marriage is not the answer,” Jim Collins said. “Research shows that children do best when they’re raised by their own biological mum and dad, in a secure marriage. The more we can do to promote the unique benefits of man-woman marriage here in Tasmania – and across Australia – the more we’ll see our national wellbeing and our children’s future improve.”
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