Christian groups have created a new event to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the day the Senate voted to ban gay marriage in Australia.
Each year since the same-sex marriage ban was passed in 2004, gay and lesbian rights groups have held rallies in capital cities close to the August 13 anniversary of the Senate’s vote. This year it will be moved forward to August 1 to coincide with the ALP National Conference.
Christian groups have ignored the anniversary until now.
The Australian Family Association will celebrate the anniversary in no less a symbolic location than the Federal Parliament’s Great Hall. A high profile married couple will be named National Marriage Day Ambassadors on the day to -œfurther raise the status of marriage.
A Queensland youth group, Restore Integrity and Sexual Ethics, also plan to present a report on the institution of marriage from the youth perspective.
The event is being organised by Mary Louise Fowler, younger sister of Senator Bill Heffernan -” famous for using Parliamentary Privilege to falsely accuse the High Court’s only openly gay judge, Michael Kirby, of sexual misconduct with teenage prostitutes.
The gay marriage ban has been Fowler and the Australian Family Association’s only successful lobbying campaign after losing conscience vote issues such as a ban on the morning-after pill RU486.
Fowler did not return calls from Sydney Star Observer this week. A spokesman for the Australian Family Association said he was only involved in encouraging people to attend and didn’t know who was on the guest list.
In a speech to the National Marriage Forum in 2004, Fowler explained why she believed the term itself was important to protect.
-œThe conjugal act is specific to marriage. In marriage, the sexual union is a culmination of the expression of devotion and commitment made between the spouses.
-œIt is of course necessary for the act to be a true expression of love and not one of domination or of self-gratification, in order for these benefits to flow from the act.
-œIt must be understood that only heterosexual unions have the capacity, by dint of their physical complementarity, to receive the benefits attributed to the conjugal act.
In September, a separate group will organise a National Marriage Week.
info: The breakfast in the Great Hall costs $85 each or $600 for a table. More information at marriageday.family.org.au.