November 6, 2017

Positivity: Australia’s former prime minister — Redefining marriage has big consequences

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From New York City:

Nov 3, 2017 / 04:09 pm

If the people of Australia vote to redefine marriage in the country, the consequences will be dire, warned former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

“The idea that you can just change the definition of marriage and nothing else follows is intellectual fraud,” he said.

Abbott spoke to CNA before a Nov. 1 panel discussion on Australia’s ongoing marriage vote. The panel, held in New York City, was hosted by ADF International, an alliance-building human rights group that promotes religious freedom and the sanctity of life, marriage, and family.

Australia is currently in the final days of a plebiscite on marriage. The plebiscite – or voluntary poll to measure public feedback – asks voters to return mail-in ballots on whether to redefine marriage in the country.

The mail-in vote itself is not legally binding. But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government has promised to introduce legislation in Parliament to redefine marriage if the majority of voters favor it.

Abbott has been vocally opposed to the redefinition of marriage, warning that it will weaken the institution which serves as the foundation of society.

He also voiced concerns that if marriage is redefined, those who oppose it will find themselves marginalized and penalized, since even now, just voicing support for the longstanding view of marriage as the union of one man and one woman “attracts an instant social media storm and reputational death.”

“Especially if unaccompanied by any wider charter of freedoms, we can expect same-sex marriage in Australia to have much the same consequences as in other countries,” Abbott said at the panel. “People will take offense at the traditional teaching and the anti-discrimination laws can be relied upon to do the rest.”

This is already starting to happen, he said, pointing to Archbishop Julian Porteous of Hobart, who faced prosecution under anti-discrimination laws for a booklet outlining Christian teaching on marriage.

“People aren’t being argued into changing their minds; they’re being bullied into abandoning their convictions,” Abbott warned. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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