Thursday, 15 August 2013

Same-sex marriage and Catholic voting obligation

Catholicism is not a buffet - to be fully Catholic means to believe and practice (to the best of our ability) the fullness of the Church's teachings.
"A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law that contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals. The Christian faith is an integral unity, and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the whole of Catholic doctrine.” (CPL 4)
It is for this reason that we need to become informed about the policies on the table in the upcoming election as some of these policies are morally relevant and contradict the fundamental contents of the faith. Spokesperson for the AFA, Luke McCormack, will take you through one of the hotter topics at the moment amongst younger voters.

Guest Blogger: Luke McCormack
State President of the National Civic Council, spokesperson for the Australian Families Association
and father of four
Luke McCormack and son Xavier
It’s election season 2013. In the first leadership debate on Sunday night we saw the leaders of the two largest political parties contest for the approval of Australian voters. The incumbent Prime Minster is the first ever to believe that the institution of marriage in Commonwealth marriage law should be redefined to apply equally, despite the sex of the persons involved in the marriage. PM Kevin Rudd promised that he would table a bill to redefine marriage by amending the Marriage Act 1961 within his first 100 days if the Australian Labor Party was elected to govern the country. 
©SMH
The opposition leader Tony Abbott, who opposes redefining marriage, stated that whether or not the Liberal Parliamentary Party will maintain their policy in favour of current marriage definition will depend on the votes within the Liberal party-room following the election.

Gay couples in Australia are treated in all matters of civic law as equal to a married couple. Among young voters, however, the narrow majority still seem to believe there is some injustice done to homosexual couples by not redefining marriage. Why is this?

Well firstly, most people think the debate centres around whether or not that friendly homosexual couple (representing 0.29% of Australia’s population or 0.58% of Australian couples) they know are allowed to have a wedding down at the beach, photos, cake, party, rings and a happy life thereafter. Of course, that is not what is being debated at all.

The debate is around the law, not the wedding. Any type of sexual arrangement between adults can have a wedding, exchange vows, eat cake, party and exchange rings with no special permission required. After all, romance and consensual sexual relations is a private matter, as long as it does not breach the criminal code. The question is, should the government get involved, and in this case, deem this type of sexual relationship to be so valuable to society that it is elevated to the same high-value as a life-long one man + one woman commitment?

So to debate this properly we need to understand why the state has marriage law in the first place. Primarily, it is for the well-being of any children that come from that sexual coupling. If a man and a woman were not, in principle, fertile, then marriage law would not be in the state’s interest at all. What the law does is create legal protection and security for the child's birth-right (the only thing every naked newborn has) to its biological parents (and the extended biological family). Marriage law means that the legal structure tracks biology very closely (unless there is hidden unfaithfulness). It is a legal presumption therefore, that the father of each baby born is the husband of the mother (unless found in court to be otherwise).

If we change the definition of marriage to “any two persons” the legal presumption (which goes back thousands of years now) that links to biology is broken. With “same-sex marriage” law, social workers, courts and governments can dictate parentage of the child. This is dangerous because it breaks a most fundamental human right to belong to your kin.

Secondly, when you mix “same-sex marriage” law with Australia’s anti-discrimination laws and sex discrimination laws you end up with a massive loss of freedom.

Any politician who supports marriage equality (taking away children’s rights) must be asked these questions:
  • Do you know that SSM would trash the legal right of every Australian child to its biological parents by breaking the link between the law and biology?
  • Do you know that SSM would go against the UN Rights of the Child principles (Article 9)? 
  • Can you be 100% certain that redefining marriage will never result in violation of our freedom of speech, freedom to conscientiously object and freedom to express and follow our religious or philosophical convictions? Will the following never happen?:

There is a long list of such abuses by the state in various places that have redefined marriage including, notably, Massachusetts USA, where a court ruled that a parent had no right to remove his son in second grade from a class that was teaching male-to-male coupling/marriage (Life Site News 2008).

You get the point…

Further reading:
God bless,
Michaela