Campaigner says same-sex marriage debate ‘has never been about marriage’
A campaigner against same-sex marriage in Australia has said the debate around the issue isn’t about marriage.
Lyle Shelton, who heads up the Australian Christian Lobby, has consistently campaigned against same-sex marriage.
Ahead of a public vote on same-sex marriage, he told Sky News: “I don’t think this debate has ever been about marriage.”
“It is a tiny percentage of a tiny percentage of couples [in same-sex relationships who wish to marry],” Shelton added.
“This is about changing the established order, forever changing our understanding of free speech. It is about forever changing our understanding of gender which we are seeing in the Safe Schools program… this has nothing to do with marriage… it is about forever changing the way children are understanding what it means to be a boy and a girl.”
Shelton has in the past refused to apologise for comparing gay people to Nazis.
The Safe Schools program was censored earlier this year after consistent opposition by the ACL.
But Shelton was pretty upset when a rally his organisation had organised included open invitations which were flooded with fake RSVPs by LGBT activists.
Shelton earlier this year accused LGBT campaigners of “bullying” for demonstrating at an event.
The Catholic Church in Australia said earlier this week that it would sack any employee who enters a same-sex marriage.
The pre-emptive move by the Catholic Church in Australia comes ahead of a public vote on same-sex marriage.
Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, told Fairfax Media that employees of the church need to uphold its teachings “totally”.
He added that every single one of the 180,000 employees of the Church, if they breach the order, will be treated “very seriously”.
“I would be very emphatic that our schools, our parishes exist to teach a Catholic view of marriage,” he said.
“Any words or actions which work contrary to that would be viewed very seriously.
“Our teachers, our parish employees are expected totally to uphold the Catholic faith and what we believe about marriage. People have to see in words and in example that our teaching of marriage is underlined.
“We shouldn’t be slipping on that,” said Archbishop Hart, who also chairs the powerful Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. He said individual hiring and firing decisions “are best dealt with on the local scene”.
The bishop was backed up by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, the chair of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education.
Archbishop Costelloe warned that teachers must not “undermine” their schools’ “values” if same-sex marriage is legalised.
“In accepting a role in a Catholic school, staff will recognise their responsibility to conduct themselves in such a way as not to undermine the fundamental ethos of the school,” he told Fairfax Media.
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