NATION Marriage debate alarm
QUEENSLAND’S most senior Catholic warns the samesex marriage debate has become “infected” with “ideology, slick marketing and smart slogans”, while holding back from telling people how to vote.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge said opinion polls stating strong public support for same- sex marriage may be more reflective of inner- city Sydney and Melbourne than rural Queensland.
Speaking to tomorrow’s Catholic Leader, Archbishop Coleridge called for people not to attack those who did not favour same- sex marriage.
“One of the problems is that so much ideology and slick marketing have infected the public debate,” he said.
“The political mess also shows how divided the community is on the issue.”
He said “justice for all” was basic to a healthy society, but not everyone agreed that same- sex marriage was a sign of either.
“That doesn’t mean that those who don’t favour same- sex marriage are brutes or bigots,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“Issues like that aren’t triv- ial, nor are they well handled by ideological cant and smart slogans. “We need better than that.” He did not say which way people should vote in the postal plebiscite, but has previously supported the Catholic Church’s position of not changing the wording of the Marriage Act.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he ex- pected a better than 50 per cent turnout for the $ 122 million postal snapshot.
Mr Turnbull said Opposition Leader Bill Shorten had been playing politics with the same- sex marriage debate.
“I have been a supporter of gay marriage much longer than him, for a start,” he said.
Mr Shorten had called for the Prime Minister to co- sign with him a letter of support for a same- sex marriage “yes” vote.
“I think it would be a very healthy moment, not only in the marriage equality debate, but in Australian politics,” he said.
Mr Turnbull said he would consider the proposal but warned it could be counterproductive.
Postal ballots for the plebiscite will be mailed out from September 12, unless a High Court challenge to stop it proceeding is successful.
A final result should known by November 15. be