- (Reuters/Tim Wimborne)
The leader of the Presbyterian Church of Australia has said that Christians are not being discriminatory by wanting to preserve the traditional definition of marriage as the country gets ready to suggest legalizing same-sex marriage.
"We continually are told that the legalization of same-sex marriage would end perceived discrimination against same-sex couples who are currently not able to marry under federal government law," said the Rev. David Jones, as reported by the Herald Sun.
"But at least from the church perspective, opposition to such legalization has nothing to do with discrimination," he continued. "Plain and simply, Christians oppose same-sex marriage because the Bible, the word of the God who created male and female and also created marriage, clearly and distinctly says that marriage is between one man and one woman – which means not between two men or two women."
Both the Australian Christian Lobby and NSW Council of Churches, a representative body of evangelical Christian denominations, have opposed lawmakers' plans to push for redefining marriage.
Australia's Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings has said, however, that she is moving along with pushing for a bill that would seek to legalize same-sex marriage in the country, starting with Tasmania.
"There is nothing that I have received in my legal advice that would preclude the state government from pursuing this matter and legalizing marriage here in Tasmania," Giddings has said.
"Marriage equality in Australia is inevitable and it's time for the prime minister to show the leadership and long-sightedness of the Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings," added Greens Senator Hanson-Young in a statement. "We look forward to the day when the Greens' bill for marriage equality ... passes into Tasmanian law and call on the prime minister to assure us that the reforms won't be overshadowed by federal legal intervention."
Australia's other top politicians remain divided on the issue. Graham Perrett, chairman of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs, revealed that although he personally supports same-sex marriage, he does not believe such unions will be legalized anytime soon.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, on the other hand, has said that she supports traditional marriage, as does Tony Abbott, the conservative Liberal Party leader who is a Roman Catholic.