Christians want a ‘war chest’ of money to fight equal marriage in Australia
A Christian lobby group has asked for its supporters to donate AUD $200,000 for a “war chest” to try to block same-sex marriage.
The Australian Christian Lobby asked for its supporters to raise the funds ahead of Australia’s federal election.
The ACL sent a message out on Friday asking supporters to give a “gift to help fight for marriage”.
Sent from the Lobby’s managing director Lyle Shelton, it read: ““Your support today will help ACL build a $200,000 ‘war chest’ so we can get the message out, resource our team to present a voice for marriage, and equip churches for grassroots actions.”
Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage have recognised that the issue is likely to be a hot topic during the upcoming election.
The Coalition Government, led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has maintained that MPs should not have a free vote on the issue.
A plebiscite has been promised on the issue, after the election but it is unclear when that would take place.
Even if a majority of Australians vote to support same-sex marriage, the Government would still have to pass legislation to legalise it.
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Various bills have been introduced to legalise same-sex marriage and more are expected, but they are useless unless Government MPs are willing to rebel and vote to approve the measure.
The Tasmanian Parliament this week passed a motion calling for same-sex marriage to be introduced across Australia, despite stalling on the issue nationally.
The ACL recently called on people to stop calling them “bigots” for opposing equal marriage rights.
Malcolm Turnbull, who is perceived as a moderate, took over as Prime Minister earlier this year after his party voted to oust Tony Abbott – a strong conservative and opponent of same-sex marriage.
As a vote in Parliament loomed, Mr Abbott put plans in place for a plebiscite (public vote) on equal marriage. His actions averted a showdown on the issue, but also caused a lengthy delay – as the plebiscite will not take place until 2017.
New PM Mr Turnbull has affirmed his support for the plebiscite, but equality activists have urged him to consider dropping the plans – and instead allowing a simple free vote to go ahead in Parliament.