June 7th 2014

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Articles from this issue:

ECONOMIC AGENDA: Cut the deficit while boosting infrastructure

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Tony Abbott faces winter of discontent

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Greens' bid to legalise same-sex 'marriage' by stealth

SOCIETY: Why all the fuss over same-sex marriage?

EDITORIAL: Ukraine election opens door to reconciliation

UNITED STATES: The secret history of Washington-Wall Street collusion

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: 400 million child brides: a global scandal

LIFE ISSUES: 'Bring it on': euthanasia doctor dares police to prosecute him

NEW ZEALAND: Families benefit from NZ budget surplus

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Extraordinary background to new Indian PM

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Indonesia's two presidential candidates in tight battle


CINEMA: A fantastical world suffused with melancholy

BOOK REVIEW The man who would be PM

BOOK REVIEW Uplifting perspective on ageing

BOOK REVIEW: A tale of espionage with a hidden sting

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Greens' bid to legalise same-sex 'marriage' by stealth

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, June 7, 2014

While Australians were preoccupied with the Budget, the Greens’ Sarah Hanson-Young has introduced legislation in the Senate to recognise same-sex “marriages” contracted overseas.

The significance of the South Australian senator’s bill is that it seeks to reverse a 2004 amendment to the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, entered into for life.

South Australian Greens Senator

Sarah Hanson-Young.

At the time, it was feared that Australia’s marriage laws, if un-amended, could be circumvented. Homosexual couples could go overseas to be “married” in Canada or the American state of Massachusetts (where same-sex “marriage” had recently been legalised), then return to Australia and claim marriage status under Australian law, which provides mutual recognition of marriages contracted overseas.

To ensure that this could not happen, the Howard Coalition government passed the Marriage Amendment Act 2004 to provide that marriages between same-sex couples contracted overseas would not be recognised in Australia.

The Hanson-Young bill ostensibly seeks to amend the Marriage Act without changing its definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, entered into for life. But, if successful, it will certainly be the thin end of the wedge for same-sex “marriage” in Australia.

At the very least, her bill is fundamentally inconsistent with the Marriage Act.

Senator Hanson-Young is repeating what she attempted before the last federal election — attempting to replace the section of the Marriage Act that prohibits recognition of homosexual “marriages” contracted in overseas jurisdictions.

The bill is blandly titled, perhaps to better fly under the radar, as the Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014, and has been referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

The summary details of the bill state: “On 15 May 2014, the Senate referred the Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014 to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. The closing date for submissions is 31 July 2014. The reporting date is 3 September 2014.

“Form and campaign letters to this inquiry will be counted but not necessarily published by the committee.”

In the event that the Hanson-Young bill passes into law, then we will have a situation where there will be two “forms” of marriage coexistent, leading advocates to claim immediately that since we recognise such contracts undertaken overseas as “marriages”, then we have no reason to continue opposing them here.

The Marriage Act would also have the internal contradiction of upholding marriage in one instance and stating the opposite at the same time. Of course, this is merely a proxy move for the larger goal of overturning the Marriage Act.

While Senator Hanson-Young moved the bill as an initiative of the Australian Greens, it is actually part of the continuing push to redefine marriage.

Homosexual activist and Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome has declared that many people would be “outraged” when couples legally wed in UK consulates in Australia are “unwed the moment they step outside the consulate and back onto Australian soil”.

He recently told the Sydney homosexual magazine, Star Observer, “We will also be encouraging researchers and decision-makers from countries with marriage equality to detail the positive impacts the reform has had, and to confirm that none of the dire predictions of marriage equality opponents have come to pass.”

Tell that to the parents of young schoolchildren in Europe who are now told that there is no difference between marriages involving same-sex couples and those which involve a man and a woman; to religious leaders (including Pope Francis when archbishop of Rio de Janeiro) who have been vilified for opposing same-sex “marriage”; to the clergymen and marriage celebrants who have objected to same-sex “marriage” on grounds of conscience; or the service-providers who have been successfully prosecuted after declining to support same-sex couples.

The battle to defend the true meaning of marriage is continuing.

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