COVER STORY: Canberra rally: "Don't meddle with marriage"
by Peter Westmore
News Weekly, September 3, 2011
Around 1,000 political, civic and religious leaders, along with families, gathered in Parliament House, Canberra, on August 16, to send a clear message from mainstream Australia to the nation’s politicians: “Don’t meddle with marriage”.
The meeting filled the Great Hall in Parliament House, with people from all states of Australia.
It was chaired by Major-General Peter Phillips, former national president of the RSL, and was addressed by politicians, churchmen and leaders of many family organisations.
The rally was convened by the Australian Family Association and the National Marriage Coalition, with the support of the Australian Christian Lobby and the Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation.
Photo caption: Mrs Mary-Louise Fowler, national vice-president of the Australian Family Association
National vice-president of the Australian Family Association Mrs Mary-Louise Fowler insisted: “Children have to come first. The proposal to revise marriage intentionally deprives children of that most basic experience of having both a mum and a dad. This is wrong and must be rejected. Politicians choosing to meddle with marriage will surely pay at the polls.”
The politicians who spoke included Kevin Andrews (Liberal), John Murphy (ALP), Senator Barnaby Joyce (Nationals), Bob Katter (independent member for Kennedy, Qld), and newly-elected Senator John Madigan (DLP). All supported the definition of marriage currently in the Commonwealth Marriage Act, and opposed attempts to change it.
Gerard Calilhanna from the National Marriage Coalition expressed his deep concern about the push from the Greens to introduce homosexual marriage and warned: “What we face today by homosexual marriage is nothing other than the overthrow of marriage in Australia.
“Why? It will redefine marriage for everyone and sever the legal and social connection between marriage and children, and children have a natural right to a mother and father. No marriage is exempt from this threat.”
Warwick Marsh, founder of the Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation, said that the claim that the majority of Australians support homosexual “marriage” just doesn’t stack up.
He said: “A 2009 Galaxy Poll revealed that 86 per cent of Australians, including those in the Labor Party heartland, believe children should be reared by their biological mum and dad wherever possible.
“Those pushing to revise marriage are out of touch with mainstream Australia. We urge all politicians to listen to the people, stand firm on marriage, and protect our children.”
Managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace, said: “The claim on marriage is incredibly selfish and shows no consideration for those for whom the meaning of marriage is deeply held. Many Australians, particularly the great majority of ethnic communities and people of faith, hold marriage as sacred. This is a norm that has underpinned safe and cohesive societies forever. The last thing we need is to let it go.”
The keynote speaker, American author, broadcaster and mother of three, Mrs Rebecca Hagelin, who writes a weekly column for the Washington Times, “How to save your family”, spoke on the topic: “One man, one woman: the future of civil society”.
She said that marriage is now, and always has been, the basic unit of every civil society since the beginning of time.
A society can be compared to a human body, for purposes of illustration: the healthy human body has, as its very core, a human genome composed of 46 chromosomes. If you alter the formula, you fundamentally and radically alter the human being.
A healthy society has, as its very core, marriages that are composed of one man and one woman. If you alter that formula, you fundamentally and radically alter the society.
Just as the human body suffers when its primary building-block is changed, so societies suffer if the primary building-block — marriage — is changed. These are undeniable, unalterable facts. They are not subject to interpretation or opinion, she said.
A brief look at history shows us that every society that has foolishly dared to alter the composition of marriage has fallen into decay and suffered complete obliteration.
The utter beauty of marriage is that it is a co-dependent relationship. Husbands need their wives — wives need their husbands. They are better individuals, healthier, happier and more productive, when they live and work as one unit with separate identities, but with a shared calling to make the other thrive.
Every child that comes into the world comes as the result of the union between one man and one woman. As scientists feverishly work to alter this fact through a combination of chemical and animal materials, it becomes ever more evident that the simple, God-designed method by which children are created is nothing short of miraculous.
Just as wives need husbands and husbands need wives — so do children need both a mother and a father.
The social science evidence is clear: children do better, in general, in a happy home composed of one father and one mother than they do in any other setting.