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HEART newspaper: Heart Publications | October 20, 2017

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Australia votes on gay marriage

Australia votes on gay marriage

Hillsong founder Brian Houston – standing up for biblical teaching on marriage
Credit: Hillsong

 

The results of a national ballot on same-sex marriage in Australia will be announced on 15 November.

The voluntary postal voting (a mandatory vote had been considered) runs from 23 September to 27 October. The ballot, costing $122 million, asks: “Do you support a change in the law to allow same-sex couples to marry?” 

Brian Houston, leader of the Hillsong megachurch in Sydney, urged Christians to participate and reminded people that “God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Recent opinion polls suggest Australians will vote for gay marriage. However, some senior politicians, like former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, have urged citizens to vote ‘No’ to protect free speech, religious freedom and “stop political correctness in its tracks”.

He said that “marriage is different from other relationships” and questioned “whether a few years’ agitation should unmake a concept of marriage that has stood for many centuries and has always been regarded as the rock on which society is built?”

Dr Pansy Lai, leader of the Australian Chinese for Families Association, told the New York Times: “It is a shame that everyday mums and dads are being called bigots and haters simply for their genuine belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Meanwhile, some Australian Anglicans have accused the Church of Scotland of departing from Christ’s teachings. The Anglican Church’s General Synod rebuked the Scottish church for its recent decision to allow clergy to conduct same sex marriages.