Religious freedom and the same-sex ‘marriage’ debate

Dr Augusto Zimmermann, a law lecturer at Murdoch University in WA, has written an article on the loss of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience (http://newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=5630). It is based on a talk he recently gave in WA titled, “Same-sex marriage and the church of the future”.

As Zimmermann states, “Already examples from all over the world reveal that legalisation approving same-sex marriage may infringe the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. Some people have been on the receiving end of quite severe persecution, as well as protracted and expensive legal action, for holding the time-honoured opinion that marriage is only between a man and a woman.”

Zimmermann explores the current situation regarding marriage in Australia. Regarding the proposed plebiscite, he writes, “Although the federal government has committed itself to holding a plebiscite so that the people will be allowed to decide the matter, I wonder how this can actually be achieved when advocates of the traditional view are effectively prevented from expressing their opinions by intolerant activists and anti-free-speech legislation.”

Zimmermann refers to a number of the cases where people have been taken to Tribunals in Australia because of statements they have made about homosexuality. He quotes Bernard Gaynor, who said “The process is the punishment”.

He asks if the other side is really ‘tolerant’, before concluding,

“As a society we really need to ask whether we should undermine the rights of one group in order to protect or promote the interests of another. A real democracy, and we must never forget this, implies that controversial issues will be resolved democratically by the people only after a truly open and robust debate has taken place.”

We need to continue to address religious freedom issues we currently face in Australia regarding the normalisation of homosexuality and same-sex ‘marriage’.

The preservation of the legal definition of marriage must not be tampered with by forces imposing minority views on the majority. #VOTE1CDP

Greg Bondar
CDP State Director

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