Updated 19th June, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the Federal Government's decision to bring forward a vote on the issue of gay marriage to August with managing director Jim Wallace saying the Greens had "wasted enough parliamentary time on this".
Mr Wallace said the Coalition, meanwhile, is to be "congratulated" on maintaining its party policy on the issue and also thanks members of the ALP right who have disagreed with the proposed bills.
“ACL is well aware that despite the ALP party policy on same-sex marriage being wrong, that it is good people in the party who have caused this to happen and appreciates them," he said.
Mr Wallace said that there is "no inevitability" on the issue of gay marriage with only 10 out of 196 countries having it.
Earlier, the Australian Christian Lobby has called for the Gillard Government have the three gay marriage bills before Federal Parliament dealt with as soon as possible, saying the issue was "distracting the Government and annoying large sections of the community".
“With three bills before Parliament, two parliamentary inquiries and a debate that is dragging on and wasting parliamentary time, someone in the government needs to tell the Greens they have had enough time to make their point," Mr Wallace said.
The call followed the tabling of a report on two of the bills - the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2012, introduced by Greens MP Adam Bandt and independent MP Andrew Wilkie, and the Marriage Amendment Bill 2012, introduced by Labor MP Stephen Jones - by the House of Representatives social policy and legal affairs committee yesterday.
The committee received 276,437 responses to an online survey and an additional 2,353 responses by email, fax and post. Of the online submissions, 64 per cent expressed support for Mr Bandt's bill and 60.5 per cent for Mr Jones' bill.
- DAVID ADAMS