1. Marriage: Our way or God’s way?
God gives us a wonderful gift in marriage. He gives it to all humankind—not just to the Church—for the mutual support of the couple, to advance the welfare of children, and to promote the stability and continuation of society. God defines marriage. We merely recognise and celebrate God’s good design. Jesus laid it out at the beginning: ‘A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’ (Gen 2:24; Matt 19:5). There is a man and a woman. A husband and a wife. A father and a mother. This is the building block of society, the institution of marriage that produces and reproduces children.
2. Marriage: Adult desires or children’s rights?
Millie Fontana, Melbournian, atheist, raised with two ‘Mums’, bravely relates her confusion and alienation. ‘For me, equality was being told the truth’. Watch on YouTube, ‘The other side of the rainbow - Millie Fontana’s story’. Why would we want the law to allow children to be needlessly separated from their biological parents? It might suit adults but it can be heartbreaking for many children. Read other real-life stories collected by Katy Faust, also raised by two ‘mothers’: http://thembeforeus.com/stories/. Research data shows that children raised without their married, biological parents have, on average, significantly greater emotional problems and poorer educational outcomes. Children raised by same-sex couples are almost four times as disadvantaged (Sullins, “Emotional Problems among Children with Same-Sex Parents”, British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, Vol. 7, Issue 2, 2015). While it is true that children are already separated from biological parents via surrogacy and other methods in existing same-sex defacto relationships, institutionalising this through marriage redefinition will exacerbate the situation. Therefore, we should prioritise a child's rights to their biological parents over an adult's desire for children to fulfil their same-sex relationship.
3. Marriage: Sentimental certificate or vital institution?
We are told, ‘Love is love’. Isn’t it discrimination to celebrate the male-female relationship above other loving relationships? Actually, the social need for the institution of marriage isn't directly about romantic love. The continuation of society and the human race depends on the propagation of children. That takes procreation and nurturing families. This is how civilisation flourishes. Society sanctifies traditional marriage as its only pathway to the future. Decoupling procreation from marriage will result in a society that will lose its way. The Presbyterian Church of Australia affirms the existing definition of marriage in Australian law. Marriage is between a man and a woman. The Church urges you to lovingly, humbly and prayerfully say ‘no’ to any marriage redefinition. Why retain ‘traditional marriage’? Should Christians ‘impose their view of marriage’? The Presbyterian Church of Victoria affirms 'marriage is the lifelong union of one man with one woman, voluntarily entered into, excluding all others'. Respectfully say 'NO' to redefining marriage
4. Marriage: A stable society or a social experiment?
Every society across all of history has recognised that marriage is between a man and a woman. The Bible testifies to the highest view of marriage across millennia. It would be unwise to reject this wisdom; a wisdom of every age, every religion, almost every culture. People have misused marriage, to be sure, but traditional marriage has withstood the test of time. It is ‘on the right side of history’.
5. Marriage: A time-tested society or a cultural revolution?
All Australians will pay a heavy price for redefining marriage because this issue is not just about marriage. Degendering marriage will be followed by degendering society based on radical gender theory and resulting in massive cultural change. ‘Same-sex marriage’ is said to be a right. Rights aren’t just allowed; they are enforced. Whenever new rights are afforded, new duties follow. Degendering society will have unforeseen implications for public institutions, government services, schools, sporting clubs, etc.
Australians will likely be taken to court, fined, and burdened with expensive legal costs.
Primary school children already have no choice but to be taught radical gender theory in schools through the ‘Safe Schools’ program and it will probably get worse.
Teachers who refuse to teach radical gender theory might be fired.
Schools objecting might be de-funded and shut.
Employees already face employer activism and discrimination.
Florists, bakers, wedding planners, caterers, reception owners, printers, photographers, chauffeurs and car hire company owners, motel owners and staff, civil marriage celebrants, wedding dress makers, and more will likely be forced to supply services.
Government tribunals are already used to suppress debate.
The above is already happening here and overseas. Freedom for ‘same-sex marriage’ removes freedom for everyone. Without anti-detriment laws or exemptions, freedom of thought, speech and religion will be eroded. The resultant havoc will work out over the coming generations. That's why we must respectfully say 'no' to redefining marriage. The Presbyterian Church welcomes all people. We pray for all people. We love all people. We share the gospel with all people. Love, however, is always shaped by truth. Therefore, to truly love our neighbours we believe we must oppose same-sex marriage for all the reasons stated above. We must also be clear that any sexual union outside of traditional marriage is sinful but in Christ there is forgiveness, hope and newness of life. Therefore, let's all say ‘no’ to redefining marriage.
The Presbyterian Church of Australia affirms the existing definition of marriage in Australian law. Marriage is between a man and a woman. The Church urges you to lovingly, humbly and prayerfully say ‘no’ to any marriage redefinition. The Presbyterian Church of Victoria affirms 'marriage is the lifelong union of one man with one woman, voluntarily entered into, excluding all others'.
Authorised by Darren Middleton, Convener, Church and Nation Committee, Presbyterian Church of Victoria