“Yes” vote must not crush our right to re­li­gious free­dom

The Courier-Mail - - OPINION - DAVID VAN GEND Dr David van Gend is a spokesman for the Coali­tion for Mar­riage

FOR se­ri­ous LGBTI ac­tivists, the same-sex mar­riage cam­paign has never been about mar­riage. It has been about power. The le­gal power that comes when same-sex and trans­gen­der mar­riage is en­shrined in law.

That power will be used for the two main ob­jec­tives of this rad­i­cal move­ment: to con­trol the ed­u­ca­tion of chil­dren – think “Safe Schools” gen­der ide­ol­ogy – and to si­lence any dis­senters.

The “no” cam­paign has said from the start that same-sex mar­riage would have se­ri­ous con­se­quences on what our chil­dren are taught and what we are al­lowed to say in pub­lic, or even be­lieve in pri­vate.

In the event of a “yes” vote, the “no” forces will do as we have promised. We will refuse to let the LGBTI lobby re­move the rights of par­ents over their child’s moral ed­u­ca­tion or si­lence the voices of con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tors.

Re­mem­ber that the most fun­da­men­tal lib­erty en­shrined in the Univer­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Hu­man Rights is free­dom of conscience and re­li­gion.

Free­dom of speech is merely the means to de­fend our deep­est con­sci­en­tious con­vic­tions. By con­trast, there is no “right” to ho­mo­sex­ual mar­riage in any hu­man rights in­stru­ment; it is a le­gal fic­tion de­vised by the deca­dent West with no foun­da­tion in na­ture or hu­man cul­ture. So the mil­lions of Aus­tralians who voted “no”, and who know the con­se­quences of re­defin­ing mar­riage, will be alert to at­tempts by rad­i­cals who would im­pose their view of mar­riage and sex­u­al­ity on our chil­dren and faith com­mu­ni­ties.

The Bill pro­posed by Sen­a­tor James Pater­son is the first to se­ri­ously ad­dress free­dom of speech and be­lief and the rights of par­ents.

He is a “yes” voter but wants to limit the po­ten­tial for the LGBTI vic­tors to use their new le­gal power to com­pel the conscience of other cit­i­zens. He knows that mil­lions of Aus­tralians will con­tinue to con­sider same-sex mar­riage to be un­just to fu­ture chil­dren. And he knows that many par­ents will never al­low their chil­dren to be sub­jected to the rad­i­cal gen­der the­ory and LGBTI in­doc­tri­na­tion we have seen in the Safe Schools pro­gram.

If it is true that “yes” vot­ers only want the right to marry the per­son they love, then they also will sup­port Sen­a­tor Pater­son’s at­tempt to pre­vent the co­er­cion of conscience of cit­i­zens who dis­agree.

We say, as we have al­ways said, that same-sex cou­ples are free to live as they choose and love whom they will. If the “yes” case wins, LGBTI ac­tivists will have achieved the recog­ni­tion of same-sex mar­riage, they will have gained of­fi­cial af­fir­ma­tion from so­ci­ety, and good luck to them – but they can­not have the minds of our chil­dren or the voices of our pas­tors.

That line they can­not cross.

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