ABOVE is one of a number of posters that began appearing in Australia last year as the country prepared to hold a plebiscite asking citizens whether or not to legalise gay marriage.
The main campaigner against a yes vote was the Coalition for Marriage, which used outlandish scare tactics to warn voters of the terrible threats same-sex marriage would pose to “religious liberty” in Australia.
“In countries where marriage has been redefined, we have seen that this does not stop at same-sex marriage,” Monica Doumit, a spokeswoman for the Coalition for Marriage, said. “Despite promises of LGBT+ lobbyists, this is not about ‘living and letting live’.”
She pointed out that in the United States, some Christians who refused to provide services or products for same-sex weddings were saddled with crippling fines, and Denmark went even further, requiring every church to conduct same-sex-marriage ceremonies even if they violate its core beliefs.
But the scare tactics used by the Coalition for Marriage, and other groups such as Dads4Kids spectacularly backfired and on December 7 2017 the lower house of the Australian Parliament voted to legalise homosexual marriage.
Writing for the right wing Christian website Life Site News, Fr Mark Rogers expressed his horror that “Significantly, none of the promised amendments protecting freedom of conscience, religious liberty, and parental rights were allowed. All opposition concerns were defeated, including the right of parents to opt out of homosexual or transgender indoctrination in schools.
“Specifically, the new law does not give allowances for Christian business owners to choose who they will employ based on their religious values, nor does it protect them from being forced to participate in homosexual weddings – despite their sincerely-held beliefs in one-man, one-woman marriage.
He added: “Also defeated were conscience and faith amendments to allow Christians and others disagreeing with gay ‘marriage’ to be granted free speech.
“Christians and other traditional marriage advocates have expressed concerns that the gay agenda talks about fairness, anti-discrimination laws, and societal tolerance, but also fights for special rights, government endorsement, and societal approval.”
The Marriage Amendment Bill 2017 passed nearly unanimously, with only four members of Parliament voting “No”.
Cheers erupted in the chamber and outside when the vote was announced. A majority of Australians considered the sanctioning of same-sex marriage a positive move.
“This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. “For every one of us this is a great day.”
The new law deletes “the union of a man and a woman” from the definition of marriage and inserts “the union of two people” in its place. Australia already had “equality” laws giving special status to homosexuals in the workplace, and for government benefits and tax laws.