Same-Sex Marriage — An Initial Response

“The nation has decided in favour of same sex-marriage. It is now right for the parliament to implement the society’s wish.

Christians who voted ‘no’, and I am one, have a lot to be thankful for even in this result. …

So, with all this to be thankful for, am I pleased with the result? No, of course not. I voted against this decision and would do so again if asked to.

I’m saddened by it, not so much as a Christian but as an Australian. Marriage is a creation ordinance not a religious sacrament. I don’t think it is a good decision for Australian society or family life.”

Phillip Jensen offers his initial response to the result of the Same-sex marriage postal survey.

Update:

The text of Phillip’s article is now also available in Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

Euthanasia Bill defeated by one vote in NSW Upper House

“After a marathon debate that ran all of Thursday and ended at nearly midnight, the bill to legalise voluntary assisted dying has failed to pass the New South Wales’ Upper House by a single vote.

With 19 voting in support but 20 against, the result came down to the wire. …

– Report from ABC News. (Image: St. Helen’s Bishopsgate.)

NT Bishop: SSM survey shows “a divided community”

“Northern Territory Anglican Bishop Dr Greg Anderson says the community needs to heal after a rancorous same sex marriage debate. …”

– Bishop Anderson was interviewed on ABC Radio Darwin this afternoon.

Archbishop Glenn Davies on the same-sex marriage vote

Archbishop Glenn Davies has released this video statement on the same-sex marriage vote.

Watch and share.

A transcript has now been released.

Media release from Coalition for Marriage, ‘Despite the result, much has been achieved’

Here’s a media release from Coalition for Marriage “

15 November 2017

“The Coalition for Marriage has vowed to continue defending parents’ rights, and fighting for freedom of speech and freedom of belief following today’s result of the postal survey.

‘While we are naturally disappointed in today’s result, we accept and respect the decision of the Australian people,’ Coalition for Marriage spokesman, Lyle Shelton said today. …”

– Read it all here.

Euthanasia: Bill passes Victoria’s Lower House after 24-hour debate

“Victoria’s controversial voluntary euthanasia legislation has been passed in the Lower House of Parliament after a marathon debate that lasted more than 24 hours. …

The bill will now go to the 40-member Upper House, where the numbers are also tight, for debate in a fortnight.

If it gets through the Upper House, terminally ill people over the age of 18, in severe pain and with only a year to live will be able to access lethal drugs.”

– Story from ABC News.

Please reject euthanasia: Church to Victorian Parliament

Here’s a media release from the Diocese of Melbourne:

October 20 2017

Please reject euthanasia: Church to Victorian Parliament

Melbourne Anglicans have pleaded with the Victorian Government not legalise medically assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia.

The church’s synod discussed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill last night at their annual synod at St Paul’s Cathedral as a few blocks away Victorian MPs debated the bill in State Parliament.

Medical ethicist Denise Cooper-Clarke told the synod the bill’s proposed safeguards were inadequate, that it was inherently discriminatory, and that improved palliative care was a much safer and more compassionate way to address “bad deaths”.

She said the bill would fundamentally change attitudes to suicide at a time when the Government was trying to reduce youth suicide

Social Responsibilities Commission chairman Gordon Preece noted that media coverage advocating euthanasia was usually accompanied by links to BeyondBlue and Lifeline – an odd contradiction.

The synod voted to urge the Government to better resource palliative care, especially in regional and remote communities, Aboriginal communities and nursing homes, and to provide more palliative care training for health professionals. It resolved to oppose introducing a legal framework for “assisted dying”.

Dr Cooper-Clarke said the legislation would not cover only the small number of extreme cases but a much broader range of circumstances, where the suffering of the patients may not involve severe pain or physical symptoms at all. Overseas studies had shown pain was not the primary reason for requests for assisted dying but psychological factors: depression, hopelessness, being tired of life, loss of control and loss of dignity

“Elderly, frail and sick patients are especially vulnerable to implied or explicit messages from relatives that they are a burden and that they would be ‘better off dead’. It is naïve to assume that people always have the best interests of their relatives at heart. Elder abuse is prevalent in our society,” she said.

“Many people support assisted dying because they believe it is a compassionate response to suffering. But how is it compassionate to agree with someone who is so distressed that they wish to end their life that yes, their life is not worth living, and yes they would be better off dead?”

Don’t do it: Paul Keating in 11th hour bid to stop euthanasia laws

“Paul Keating has made a dramatic last-minute bid to stop Victoria’s Parliament from approving voluntary euthanasia laws as state MPs prepare for their third late-night debate before a vote he characterised as ‘a threshold moment’ for the entire country.

The 73-year-old, who was Australia’s 24th prime minister and has virtually unrivalled status within the Labor Party, slammed the ‘bald utopianism’ underlying the case for change, which assumed rules would never be bent by doctors and families when it becomes more convenient for carers or financial beneficiaries to see a gravely ill person die sooner. …”

– Story from Mark Kenny in The Sydney Morning Herald.

See also: Paul Keating: Voluntary euthanasia is a threshold moment for Australia, and one we should not cross. – SMH.

“No matter what justifications are offered for the bill, it constitutes an unacceptable departure in our approach to human existence and the irrevocable sanctity that should govern our understanding of what it means to be human. …

Once this bill is passed the expectations of patients and families will change. The culture of dying, despite certain and intense resistance, will gradually permeate into our medical, health, social and institutional arrangements. It stands for everything a truly civil society should stand against.”

‘Faith protections doomed under Yes vote’ — John Howard

“John Howard is warning that broad protections for religious freedoms are unlikely to pass the Senate if the Yes vote wins, following Labor’s decision to back a same-sex marriage bill proposed by West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith.

The former prime minister — a key campaigner against gay marriage — argued the decision by Labor to lock in behind Senator Smith’s bill was an ‘added reason’ for Australians to vote No in the $122 million postal survey … saying a Yes outcome could force faith-based schools, charities and social-service providers to close or change the way they operate. …”

– Story from The Australian. (Subscription.) Photo: ABC.

Lyle Shelton National Press Club Address

The Australian Christian Lobby has published an abridged version of Lyle Shelton’s address to the National Press Club in September 2017.

You can also watch the full address at the link. (Image: ABC TV.)

Sydney Catholic Archbishop says religious believers could lose their jobs

“Religious believers would be vulnerable to discrimination suits and some could lose their jobs, promotions, businesses and political careers if same-sex marriage is legalised, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney says. …”

– Story from The Australian (subscription).

See also: Same-sex marriage: Governments should ‘keep out of the bedroom’ Catholic Archbishop says – ABC News.

‘Freedom of speech challenged’ as No campaign denied bookings

“The Catholic Archbishop of Hobart, Julian Porteous, has warned of a ‘direct challenge to freedom of speech’ after the No campaign was denied bookings by both the University of Tasmania and Wrest Point Casino for an event on Friday evening.

Archbishop Porteous had been due to speak at the function along with Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi; Victorian Liberal MP, Kevin Andrews; Australian Christian Lobby managing director, Lyle Shelton, as well as ‘mummy blogger’ Marijke Rancie.

The Archbishop issued a statement this evening saying: ‘Despite signing contractual agreements and paying hire fees in full, Wrest Point Casino has advised the No Campaign that the venue is now unavailable.’…”

– Story from The Australian. (Subscription) See also The Herald Sun.

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