Church Responds to Australian Same Gender Marriage Bills
Federal and state parliaments in Australia are considering legislation promoting same gender marriage. The Church is making submissions to individual politicians in all jurisdictions expressing the need to protect traditional marriage between one man and one woman. These letters are being issued as the legislation is being considered by the parliaments.
Submission from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The promotion and protection of marriage – the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife – is a matter of the common good and serves the wellbeing of the couple, of children, of civil society and humankind. We join with others to affirm that marriage in its true definition must be protected for its own sake and for society’s good.
We also assert the existing rights of religious groups to solemnize marriage exclusively between one man and one woman according to religious tradition and individual conscience.
We emphasize our firm support for individual respect towards all people and Christ-centered love for every member of society, regardless of sexual orientation.
The meaning and value of marriage precedes and transcends any particular society, government or religious community. It is a universal good and the foundational institution of all societies. It is bound up with the nature of the human person as male and female and with the essential task of bearing and nurturing children.
We also recognize the deep consequences of altering this definition. One of these consequences – the interference with the religious freedom of those who continue to affirm the true definition of “marriage” – warrants special attention within our faith communities and throughout society as a whole. We believe that changing the definition of marriage would have far-reaching negative implications for the nation, both legal and social.
Therefore, we encourage all people of goodwill to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to consider carefully the far-ranging impact for religious freedom if marriage is redefined. We especially urge those entrusted with the public good to support laws that uphold the time-honored definition of marriage.
May we all work together to strengthen and preserve the unique meaning of marriage.
Again, we reiterate our desire for this to be pursued in a respectful way, with tolerance for people of all backgrounds, recognizing society’s diversity.
Elder Terence M. Vinson
Area Seventy, Pacific Area