Is religious freedom a distraction?

Marriage-Alliance-Australia-Religious-Freedom.jpgShould marriage be redefined, the ‘Yes’ campaign insists that individual freedoms of all Australians will be protected, including religious freedoms. Yet, they fail to say ‘how’.

This is well-known and emphasised in many politicians’ objections to pro-same-sex marriage arguments: 

Liberal MP Craig Kelly said religious freedom should be part of the debate on same-sex marriage.

He said it was up to the Yes campaign to properly explain how religious freedoms would be protected if same-sex marriage was legalised.

“We are having a vote to change the Marriage Act so it is up to the proponents of the change, to spell out exactly, to define everything, to make sure we know how this will work and how religious freedoms will work under the change,” Mr Kelly told Sky News.

“This is what part of the debate should be about.”

As Tony Abbot emphasised, this vote on marriage will determine far more than a mere definition – it will either protect or destroy the Aussie way of life:

“The best way of standing up for traditional values, the best way of saying you don’t like the direction our country is headed in right now is to get that ballot paper out and vote no,” Mr Abbott told Sydney radio station 2GB.

“There is a real issue here with the protection for religious freedom and freedom of speech if this thing goes through, we have seen in other countries where same-sex marriage has been legalised, like Britain and Canada, attacks on what is being taught in religious schools.

“In Britain Catholic adoption agencies had to close down right around the country because they refused to toe the line on same-sex marriage.”

While the ‘Yes’ campaign tries to argue that same-sex marriage will have no effect on areas such as education, Mr Abbott pointed out that this is an abject lie:

“If you degender marriage a whole lot of other things come in its wake,” he said.

“How, for instance, can we legitimately say no to gender fluidity programs like so-called Safe Schools if we’ve degendered marriage.

“So this isn’t just about marriage, sure marriage is the immediate focus, but there are lots and lots of implications here and we have got to think them through before we take this big leap into what I think is the dark.”

The ‘Yes’ campaign is wrong: same-sex marriage has everything to do with education, work, freedoms, etc.. Anything that is part of the Aussie way of life will be effected by same-sex marriage. This is recognised by many other politicians, who know that religious freedoms must be part of the marriage debate:

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Angus Taylor said this morning that religious freedoms should be part of the same-sex marriage debate.

“There is no doubt this has been a major issue in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage has been implemented,” Mr Taylor told Sky News.

“It is one that needs to be part of this debate, there is no doubt in my mind about that and I am very confident it will be part of that debate.” 

The ’No’ campaign understands and openly admits that the consequences of same-sex marriage are far-reaching. The ‘Yes’ campaign almost assuredly knows this as well – they just don’t want to admit it.

Many things are at stake in this vote. A ‘No’ vote is not just a vote against legalising same-sex marriage - it is a vote to say ‘No’ to surrendering all Australian freedoms. 

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