Call for gay marriage adversaries to focus on what they share
This media release was issued by the TGLRG on 29.7.11
An advocate for same-sex marriage has called for people on both sides of the debate to focus on the values and concerns they have in common.
At last night's same-sex marriage debate at the University of Tasmania in Launceston, Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
"Many people involved in this debate on both sides share a concern about the future of marriage and a desire to strengthen families."
"Let's acknowledge what we share and on that basis build a more constructive and respectful public debate."
Mr Croome's call was in response to a decision by three advocates against same-sex marriage to withdraw from the debate.
Two weeks ago Australian Christian Lobby chief, Jim Wallace, Australian Family Association representative, Terri Kelleher, and State Liberal MP, Michael Ferguson, pulled out of the event citing fears of "demonisation".
Mr Croome said last night's forum was "respectful and mature" and that the advocates who withdrew were "jumping at shadows".
Also supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry were Tasmanian Education Minister and Greens Leader, Nick McKim, and Tasmanian journalist and novelist, Danielle Wood.
Ms Wood said it was unjust that her child's baby-sitter, who is in a same-sex relationship and also has a child, cannot marry as she has done.
Mr McKim said he would defend the right of same-sex partners to marry "to the death" and announced he will re-introduce Tasmanian same-sex marriage laws when State Parliament resumes next month.
Presbyterian Minister, Campbell Markham, said allowing same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy, while bio-ethicist, Nicholas Tonti-Filipinni, and Catholic family advocate, Matthew McDonald, said all children have a right to be raised by their biological father and mother.
In response, Mr McKim said he is not violating the rights of his partner's children from a former marriage by helping to raise them.
About 200 people attended last night's debate.
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.