10th September, 2012
Christians from across denominations have signed a joint statement calling for the Marriage Act to remain as it is as Federal Parliament prepares to vote on bills which would change its definition in the coming weeks.
Nineteen denomination leaders and 267 other church leaders have signed the statement including Cardinal George Pell, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Sydney's Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen, Rev Keith Jobberns, national ministries director for Australian Baptist Ministries, Pastor Wayne Alcorn, president of Australian Christian Churches, and Rev David Jones, moderator general of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.
The statement describes marriage as the "lifelong commitment and faithful union of one man and one woman".
" As such, marriage is the natural basis of the family because it secures the relationship between biological parents and their children," it says.
"As Christian leaders representing different denominations or churches, we join together and affirm our shared commitment to promote and protect marriage. We honour the unique love between husbands and wives; the vital place of fathers and mothers in the life of children; and the corresponding ideal for all children to know the love and role modelling of a father and mother.
"Marriage thus defined is a great good in itself, and it also serves the good of others and society, as it has done for thousands of years. The preservation of the unique meaning of marriage is therefore not a special or limited interest, but serves the common good, particularly the good of children."
It calls upon Federal Parliament to "protect" the current definition of marriage and "not change the meaning of marriage by adding to it different kinds of relationships."
- DAVID ADAMS