Marriage debate begins in NSW Legislative CouncilFriday, May 25, 2012
FamilyVoice Australia congratulates Christian Democratic Party leader Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC on his contribution to the 24 May debate on the Greens motion commending so-called “marriage equality” or same-sex “marriage”.
The debate was adjourned after several speeches and is set to continue next week.
Fred Nile pointed out that marriage is not a human rights issue and should not be used as a political tool for social engineering.
“Marriage is an institution as old as civilisation itself and has served humanity well for thousands of years,” Rev Nile said (in part).
“It has existed as a means of support and protection for the propagation of the species, for children – the ideal environment for any child is to be reared by both a loving father and mother.
“Even the European Convention on Human Rights does not require member states' governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage.
“The European Court of Human Rights repeated this ruling in the case of Gas and Dubois v France, a judgment decided last week in Strasburg involving a French lesbian couple in a civil union.
“The European Court of Human Rights decided that this was not an instance of discrimination, nor of the violation of the right to respect of one's family and private life, because there is no right to gay marriage under the European Convention for Human Rights.”
Rev Nile then moved an amendment to the Greens motion moved by Hon Cate Faehrmann, replacing paragraph (b) with the words: notes that on 16 March 2012 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that denial of same-sex marriage is not an instance of discrimination or the violation of the right to respect of one's family and private life because there is no inherent right to homosexual marriage.
“I believe that a marriage between a male and female is not something with which politicians should trifle,” Fred Nile said. “I believe it is an institution that has come to us as designed by our creator, Almighty God. God planned that the human race would have males and females and that males and females would be able to get married and, with God's blessing, also have children—although having children is not dependent on marriage.
“The Book of Genesis, one of the earliest written documents, in discussing the creation of Adam and Eve states at 2:24: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
“Obviously two men or two women can never become one in marriage. To further demonstrate that point, the verse I have quoted does not say, shall leave his father and his father, or leave his mother and mother, or shall cleave to another man. It says shall cleave unto his wife, and we know that "wife" means female.
“Some people may say that is something in the Old Testament that is thousands of years old, but Jesus Christ, the founder of the Christian faith, deliberately repeated those words when he was asked about marriage by the Pharisees.
“Matthew 19:3 states: The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: And they twain shall be one flesh?
“Those of us who have been married have had the experience of a husband and wife becoming one, as was the intention of God. I believe it is important for the Parliament to uphold what has been a historic definition of marriage for thousands of years in all societies and in all religions.
“We should uphold God's plan for creation, marriage, family, children, procreation and the continuation of the human race.
“An argument made by those who promote same-sex marriage is that it is their private right that they wish to have and it will not have any effect on anyone else, the church or the community. The answer to that is to look at places where same-sex marriage has been legalised to see the dramatic impact it has had on those communities.
“Massachusetts was one of the first States in the United States to legalise same-sex marriage. However, over 30 States in that country have passed referendums opposing any change to the institution of marriage between a male and a female.
“That has only been overthrown in some States because of the action of a judge, which is undemocratic. It is totally opposite to the definition of democracy if a judge can overrule a referendum in which the majority of citizens voted to have marriage only between a male and a female and to have that enshrined in their constitution.
I will give some examples of the impact that same-sex marriage has had in Massachusetts. Brian Camenker says there was a school-wide assembly at his children's high school to celebrate same-sex marriage. It featured an array of speakers, including teachers who announced that they would be marrying their same-sex partners and starting families either through adoption or artificial insemination. Literature on same-sex marriage was handed out to all the students. By the following year at that school same-sex marriage had entered the elementary school curriculum. Kindergartners were given picture books telling them that same-sex couples were just another kind of family like their own parents.
“It cannot be argued that same-sex marriage merely concerns the private right of two males or two females to be married. It in fact causes a change to the way all of society comprehends marriage and it impacts particularly on children in the education system.
“In 2005, David Parker, the parent of a kindergartner, strongly insisted on being notified when teachers were discussing homosexuality or transgender people with his son. The school had him arrested and put in jail overnight. Children in second grade at the same school were required to read a book entitled King and King which tells the story of two men who have a romance and marry each other and also features a picture of them kissing. When parents Rob and Robin Wirthlin complained they were told that the school had no obligation to notify them or to allow them to let their child opt out of the exercise.
“These examples demonstrate that decisions we may make in the name of tolerance must be carefully weighed up against their impact on our society. What impact would legalising same-sex marriage have on the institution of marriage? I believe it would undermine that institution. We must consider also what impact it would have on our children.
“In 2006 those two families filed a civil rights lawsuit to force schools to notify parents and allow them to opt out their elementary schoolchildren when homosexual-related subjects were taught. The Federal judges dismissed the case. The judges ruled that because same-sex marriage was legal in Massachusetts, the school had a duty to normalise homosexual relationships to children, and schools had no obligation to notify parents or let them opt out their children. Acceptance of homosexuality had become a matter of good citizenship.
“When the law changed, school libraries across the State, from elementary school to high school, were required to have shelves of books on same-sex marriage, et cetera. Over the past year homosexual groups have been using taxpayers' money to distribute a large slick hardcover book celebrating homosexual marriage entitled Courting Equality to every school library in the State. This is a serious matter that we, as members of this Parliament who make laws and have responsibilities to all citizens of New South Wales, must seriously consider. We must also seriously consider the impact of decisions we make in this House and how we vote.
“I call on members to vote against the motion and to support the amendment.”
- Marriage and sexuality