The call for a ‘No’ vote
WESTERN Plains Baptist Fellowship Pastor David Bennett returned his Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey on the same day it was received, voting ‘no’ to the proposal.
Along with his religious beliefs, Pastor Bennett has other reasons for his opposition to the questionnaire and his feelings towards homosexual people is not one of them.
“I know people who are homosexual and I am happy to sit and have a coffee with them, they are people,” he said.
However, like many Christians, Pastor Bennett believes that marriage should just be between a man and a woman and the government shouldn’t be putting forward an alternative.
“I’m of the opinion that governments should just stay out of it. Sometimes governments shouldn’t be invested in a situation. In the United States, where I grew up, anybody could perform a marriage in some states. Then same sex marriage became a constitutional right.”
Pastor Bennett agrees with the Australian Christian Lobby and the Marriage Coalition in not supporting the legal union of same sex couples.
“It affects many other areas of society, including parenting and schooling,” he said.
Pastor Bennett is also concerned by the wording of the question which asks: ‘Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
“I would have worded it ‘Do you agree to change the Marriage Act? If it’s a ‘yes’ vote, what other things will it allow in marriage, such as polygamy? It does open it up to all sorts of things.
Spirituality aside, Pastor Bennett’s biggest concern is how the survey is being conducted and whether it will actually have any legal bearing.
“If we have a change of government, what happens? Other than saying who wants it and who doesn’t, this isn’t a piece of legislation. It’s not a referendum. If the no’s get it, it doesn’t mean it won’t change.
“All it does is tell us where people stand, do they have a conscience vote later?
The $122 million cost of the postal vote is of major concern to many people and Pastor Bennett agrees that the money could have been used elsewhere.
“It’s not just the money, I just don’t know what purpose it serves. Even if I wasn’t a believer, I would still think the same thing. Even if I wasn’t a Christian, I would be looking at this as an unnecessary action and it’s an amount that could be used elsewhere. If it’s real money, then it came from the taxpayer and it could be used against the deficit. I don’t think even the politicians know where the money goes. They really should put the money somewhere else.”
“I think that’s an issue. They just need to leave it alone and have it recognised as a civil union.
“If we are doing anything, we ought to be strengthening the family.”
Pictured is Pastor David Bennett who voted no in the same sex marriage survey and encourages others to do the same.