Australia: As marriage ballot comes to close, conservatives gear up for legislative fight
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke to the US-based Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian right legal group with a global reach, where he slammed members of the Australian government cabinet for not campaigning against marriage equality in the survey-by-mail currently taking place. The deadline for voting is Tuesday.
From the Guardian:
Abbott suggested that despite the weight of public opinion polling suggesting the yes campaign is on track for victory, the result could “swing either way” because people have been reluctant to identify as no voters in polls.
“Win, lose, or draw, though, starting from scratch two months ago, the campaign for marriage in my country has mobilised thousands of new activists; and created a network that could be deployed to defend western civilisation more broadly and the Judeo-Christian ethic against all that’s been undermining it,’’ he said.
“So far, the campaign to defend marriage in Australia has raised over $6m from more than 20,000 separate donors, and fielded more than 5,000 volunteers to doorknock and phone canvass.”
Abbott warned the lack of conservative representation in the Liberal party would mean in the short term that “the embryonic Australian Conservatives, the only national political party whose leader backed marriage as it’s always been” would be the beneficiary of the new conservative movement.
Meanwhile, Penny Wong, Labor leader in the Senate, criticized the “hate and misinformation” spread by marriage equality opponents, and called it “mystifying” that the Anglican church in Sydney donated $1 million to the “no” campaign.
Conservatives in the parliament are preparing to propose as many as 100 amendmentsto a draft marriage bill if the public votes “yes” and a draft bill is taken up in the legislature. “It is seriously inadequate, as parents, freedom of speech and religious freedom, along with conscientious objection, all need full protection,” said Senator Eric Abetz.
Late-night comic John Oliver mocked the anti-marriage-equality campaign as a “dispiriting” and “pointless” process.
(Report from ‘Religion Dispatches’)
Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is waxing lyrical in his support for those who have invested significant sums of money in mounting a serious opposition to people in Australia who want to support the proposed Equal Marriage opportunities for the faithful, committed, mongamously-partnered Same Sex couples among our trans-Tasman neighbours.
The outcome of the recent Referendum on Equal Marriage is due to be revealed on Tuesday next, and it remains to be seen whether the huge amount of financial support for those opposing the proposed measure (among them, the conservative Anglican Diocese of Sydney, which gave One Million Dollars to their cause) will have been enough to persuade the more liberally-inclined Australia public to vote against any change to the Marriage Laws.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand