The leader of Australia’s Presbyterian Church has said that Christians are not being discriminatory in their belief that the definition of marriage should apply to opposite sex couples only.

As Australia prepares to propose marriage equality, the Reverend David Jones told Melbourne’s Herald Sun:
“We continually are told that the legalisation of same-sex marriage would end perceived discrimination against same-sex couples who are currently not able to marry under federal government law.

“But at least from the church perspective, opposition to such legalisation has nothing to do with discrimination. Plain and simply, Christians oppose same-sex marriage because the Bible, the word of the God who created male and female and also created marriage, clearly and distinctly says that marriage is between one man and one woman – which means not between two men or two women.”

Australia’s Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings said, however, that she is pushing for a marriage equality bill, starting with Tasmania, despite the opposition of the Australian Christian Lobby and the New South Wales Council of Churches, a representative body of evangelical Christian denominations.

Ms Giddings said: “There is nothing that I have received in my legal advice that would preclude the state government from pursuing this matter and legalising marriage here in Tasmania.”

Australian Senator for the Greens, Sarah Hanson-Young said: “Marriage equality in Australia is inevitable and it’s time for the prime minister to show the leadership and long-sightedness of the Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings.

“We look forward to the day when the Greens’ bill for marriage equality passes into Tasmanian law and call on the prime minister to assure us that the reforms won’t be overshadowed by federal legal intervention.”

Marriage equality remains a divisive issue for other key politicians in Australia. Graham Perrett, chairman of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs said that although he personally supports marriage equality, he didn’t believe said unions would be legalised anytime soon.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, on the other hand, has retained a staunch support for traditional marriage, likewise Tony Abbott, the country’s Liberal Party leader, who is a Roman Catholic.