Rector of the Anglican Parish of Sunraysia South (Red Cliffs) Rev Canon Dale Barclay says that he will be voting no in the upcoming postal vote on same sex marriage.
Rev Barclay says that just because you are opposed to same sex marriage it does not mean you are a hateful, vengeful person.
“I sense there is a feeling out there, that people are apprehensive of commenting on the same sex marriage debate, as they do not want to lose friends, be labelled a homophobic, or be publicly condemned.””
“Done in a way that is absent of personal abuse, and with a lack of malice is a good place to start.”
He says he believes a yes vote will change the fundamental definition of what marriage is.
“Marriage, over a long period of time in many cultures has been about a man and women committing to each other and has been seen by society as the ideal option for raising children.”
“While marriages do not always work out, it is the intent that a child will be raised by a mother and a father.”
“Saying yes to same sex marriage is in effect deliberately setting up a social structure were children lose the right to grow up with their father or mother.
Julia Gillard stated, "the most primal and sacred bond there is: the bond between a mother and her baby". How can this bond exist and develop if a child from the very beginning does not grow up with their mother? The rights of a child need to be protected.”
Rev Barclay says that there is a real concern about the consequences of free speech and freedom of religion.
“Just last week we saw a petition spring up against a doctor who appeared in advertisement on the no side.”
“Because she expressed her opinion that was not politically correct, some thought she should no longer be practicing as a doctor.”
Tasmanian Archbishop Julian Porteous was taken to the anti-discrimination panel for distributing Christian teaching on marriage.
“Those who speak up can be accused of hatred and homophobia,” he said.
“Exemptions given to Christian organisations are not guaranteed as we have not seen the legislation and it is likely that that any exemptions which may be given will be constantly under attack.”
Rev Barclay says that some have called the same sex marriage debate as ‘marriage equality’.
“Even if the same sex couples can marry, it will not be ‘marriage equality’”
“There will remain many exemptions to people getting married to each other such as young people, brother/sister, mother/son, three-person marriage and so on.”
Rev Barclay says that the logic in the ‘love is love’ argument is that it can be used for all the prohibited relationships.
“Keeping the marriage act as it is will protect the weakening of marriage as we know not it,” he said.
“There is concern that the real agenda is a lot wider and bigger than just same sex marriage.”
He said not only have conservative people like Tony Abbott argued this, but also a feminist lesbian from RMIT.
Caroline Norma stated on ABC Radio National recently that she was very concerned about the Libertarian Left using this issue to further their cause including the Australian sex industry.
“My opinions on this are written in my own name and do not claim to represent anybody else although I have a feeling there are many who will hold a similar view”
“When I reflect on my own life, I am constantly relating and enjoying the company of people whom I have different values with.”
He said the reverse is also true.
“I appreciate it when people whose convictions are different to mine still gift me with friendship, help and support.
“We need to realise on both sides that is possible to disagree.”