Gender would become “increasingly confused” if marriage were to be redefined, an Australian Christian group has said.
Marriage is defined as being between one man and one woman in Australia, but the Government is currently using a draft Bill as part of an ongoing consultation on the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) made the comments to a Senate committee inquiry.
The ACL says that the redefinition of marriage would have a negative effect on gender norms because “the complementarity of male and female is uniquely defined in the marriage law”.
“Where gender is erased from the fundamental group unit of society, it logically follows that gender becomes increasingly confused at all levels in the community.”
“If marriage is a child-centred institution it reasonably follows that it is not a category of relationship that can reasonably apply to same-sex relationships, which do not bear even the possibility of producing children”, it said.
Ashers Baking Company
Where gender is erased from the fundamental group unit of society, it logically follows that gender becomes increasingly confused at all levels in the community.
The Australian Christian Lobby
The ACL has backed protections in the Bill for religious groups to refuse to provide goods and services, on the basis of “sincerely held conscientious or religious beliefs about marriage, family, sexuality and/or gender”.
It also calls for freedom of religion to be recognised as a fundamental right to protect individuals’ beliefs and practices.
The organisation cited the Ashers bakery case as an example of a Christian-run business that was taken to court for its refusal to promote views that went against its religious beliefs.
It says it hopes to ensure that similar cases do not occur in Australia if same-sex marriage is legalised.
The ACL has consistently defended traditional marriage in Australia, and has also campaigned against a state-funded LGBT education programme.
Lyle Shelton, ACL’s Managing Director, has previously said that altering the law on marriage would change “legal and cultural assumptions about mothering and fathering”. Writing on the ACL website he said that while some marriages do not lead to children, “every child has a mother and a father”.
The reason, Shelton continued, that the Government has laws around marriage “is because governments are rightly interested in protecting the rights of children”.
“Same-sex marriage makes it impossible to assert that children, wherever possible, should be allowed to be loved and nurtured by their biological mother and father”, he added.