Opinion  |  

Lyle Shelton says the postal vote has left unfinished business

The voice of the “No” campaign on what comes next

The loss of the true definition of marriage in law and culture may never be recovered in our lifetime.

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Children born in recent years and from now will know nothing other than an anthropological lie about marriage that we enshrined in law and culture last month.

That decision will not be without consequence.

Ten years ago the idea that marriage would be redefined so two people of the same-sex could get “married” was unthinkable.

For years politicians told me it was not an issue and would not happen. “We’ve got this.”

If anyone thought the postal survey would put an end to LGBTIQ political activism, they were naïve. The rainbow political movement is only emboldened.

As I was being told this, activists using tools of democracy such as free speech and parliamentary advocacy continued their push. Most of our people were silent.

After at least 18 failures in the federal parliament and in most State and Territory parliaments, the activists prevailed.

For most Australians the idea that gender is fluid and a social construct is fanciful. Yet already we are seeing little boys being taught they might be girls trapped in the wrong body and anybody who opposes this idea is “transphobic.”

If we are as silent as we have been during the 10 years marriage was under fire in the public square, the normalisation of transgenderism will be even more rapid. Now that we have voted to redefine marriage, what are kids to be taught in sex education classes?

Will it be considered discriminatory for schools to only teach children the details of heterosexual sex?

What rights will parents have to withdraw their children from classes that teach concepts contrary to their values?

What will happen to religious schools, Christian and Muslim, who teach marriage is exclusively one man and one woman? Will their funding be secure?

How do gay married men get babies in a country where there are extremely low numbers of babies available for adoption and commercial surrogacy is illegal?

Appeals to the Yes campaign simply to deliver what they campaigned for – same sex marriage with no impact on the freedoms of anyone else – have been met with demonisation and extreme hostility.

Don’t worry, the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2015 under the leadership of Tim Wilson, now a member of Federal Parliament, has a solution.

The AHRC’s 2015 report ‘Resilient Individuals’ identified Australia’s ban on commercial surrogacy as a “barrier to equality” and suggested this be looked at.

Imagine that. A commercial trade in human babies and a rental market in women’s wombs, so two men can have babies.

If anyone thought the postal survey would put an end to LGBTIQ political activism, they were naïve. The rainbow political movement is only emboldened.

Having campaigned on the basis that redefining marriage would have no consequences for freedom of speech, religion and parents’ rights, the victors have dramatically changed their tune now the voting is over.

The Dean Smith Bill, put forward by the WA Liberal Senator, contains the most narrow protections for paid religious clergy only and commercial premises attached to a church.

There is nothing for free speech for the religious or non-religious. Nothing to stop another Archbishop Julian Porteous case where a minister was taken to a tribunal simply for distributing Christian teaching to Christians about marriage.

Appeals to the Yes campaign simply to deliver what they campaigned for – same sex marriage with no impact on the freedoms of anyone else – have been met with demonisation and extreme hostility.

They have changed Australia and the freedoms which have until now been part of the Australian settlement. Migrants who voted No in their droves, having fled countries where there was no concept of civic freedom, are wondering what is happening to the land of their choice.

There has never been a greater need for courageous voices of truth in the public square. If the church will not do this, who will?

Lyle Shelton is Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby and a spokesperson for the Coalition for Marriage.

Read a different view: Michael Frost says instead of focusing solely on how legislation after the vote will affect Christians, we need to start repairing the damage done during the postal survey campaign.

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