At its national conference in Sydney, the Australian Labor Party yesterday voted to endorse same sex marriage as part of its policy platform. It now appears that the legislation to change the Marriage Act to grant marriage rights to same sex couples will be introduced into the Federal Parliament early next year. Even though Labor Parliamentarians will be allowed a conscience vote on this legislation, it seems highly probable that this legislation will be passed.
Not only that, but this is another instance where the voice of conservative Christianity has once again been ignored, and months of intense campaigning and prayer has come to nothing. In recent years Christians have unsuccessfully campaigned for increases in Australia's foreign aid budget, adequate funding for social services for the poor, social housing, the mentally ill, and the disabled to name but a few, against Victoria's late-term abortion laws that were passed in 2008, and for those of you with longer memories, against the privatisation of public utilities that took place in the 1990s.
I get sick of militant secularists who assert that the church has too much influence in Australian politics, which in any case seems very much overstated. If that really was the case, then I doubt that our nation would be pursuing such reckless and dangerous social engineering.
Why is this dangerous? We will now see other lobby groups coming out of the woodwork to campaign for new forms of marriage to suit their particular preferences. Same sex marriage is just the tip of the iceberg. Labor also assures us that under this legislation, marriage celebrants or members of the clergy will not be required to perform same sex marriages against their will. I predict that the Greens, upon whom the Gillard government relies to stay in power, will amend the legislation to revise the wording of this clause, or it will be deliberately vaguely worded so as to be open to interpretation.
In other words, don't be surprised if a member of the clergy or marriage celebrant finds themselves hauled before an anti-discrimination tribunal by a same sex couple if he or she declines to marry them. This might sound offensive and outlandish to say right now, but it's safe to say that it's only a matter of time before we will see this very scenario played out.