Originally published in The Christian Institute.
A Bill proposing a public vote to decide on same-sex marriage has been blocked in Australia. The Bill was rejected on Monday in the Senate by 33 votes to 29. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had intended to hold a public vote on the issue in February 2017.
Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Lyle Shelton, responded to the decision by calling on politicians to now consider other issues.“Australians have had enough of the same-sex marriage debate. After six years of relentless activism in the Parliament, it should be time to move on.”Shelton added that politicians “may have unwittingly done the nation a favour by allowing more time for people to understand the consequences” of redefining marriage.
Australian political analyst Nick Economou also said that the Government can now shift its focus. Economu said: “There has been an excessive preoccupation with a small number of social-policy issues. Maybe the government can now get on with what the voters want them to do”.
Last year a prominent opponent of same-sex marriage, who is an atheist, stressed that redefining marriage affects society at large, in a discussion on Australian TV. Brendan O’Neill, the Editor of online magazine Spiked, detailed the “illiberal” attitude of same-sex marriage advocates and how they have targeted Christians.He argued that homosexual marriage presents itself as a liberal civil-rights issue, but that in reality, “it has this really ugly, intolerant streak to it”.
O’Neill said: “Anyone who opposes gay marriage is demonised, harassed. We’ve seen people thrown out of their jobs because they criticise gay marriage.”
He continued: “Within the space of a decade, something that humanity believed for thousands of years has suddenly become a form of bigotry, a form of hate”.