Opinion

Same Sex Marriage bill moves swiftly

Lyle Shelton and Mike Frost offer different views of what happens now

UPDATE, 2PM: The Same Sex Marriage Bill has passed through the Senate without amendment.

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11:48AM – The Same Sex Marriage Bill authored by coalition Senator Dean Smith is swiftly moving through the Senate on its way to the lower house. All “consequential” amendments moved by conservatives have failed and it is now clear that the Smith Bill provides the framework that Same Sex Marriage for Australians will take.

As the outcome of the marriage postal survey is enacted into law, Christians are responding by setting out possible consequences of the new law. Lyle Shelton from the Australian Christian Lobby has written for Eternity: “The loss of the true definition of marriage in law and culture may never be recovered in our lifetime. 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.”

A different group of Christians mourn that we have damaged our relationships with the LGBT community. Michael Frost has made this case for Eternity: “People aren’t rejecting the church just because they hate Christ. They distrust us because of the way some of us have behaved. Sure, Yes campaigners behaved badly (assaulting the former PM; firing a No voter from her job; graffiti-ing churches in Melbourne), but let’s be frank, a lot of the No campaign, supported by the churches, was in my view designed to foster fear among voters.”

Concerns raised in the Senate have included a parent rights to remove children from contentious “safe schools” style lessons, and protecting charities with traditional views about marriage from having funding reviewed.

One concern on a list circulated on Christian blogs is inaccurate: military chaplains will have the right to refuse to conduct same sex marriages under the Dean Smith bill.

The full text of the bill is linked in an Eternity report here.

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