SYDNEY, Australia, APRIL 5, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Australian Senate is holding an inquiry into the subject of same-sex marriage following a bill proposed by the Australian Greens Party.
On 8 February 2012, the Senate referred the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 for inquiry and report by the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.
The topic is attracting a great deal of interest. According to the Senate thousands of submissions were received by the closing date of April 2. So many, in fact, that it has not been possible to put all of them online.
Cardinal George Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, recently released the text of the submission he made to the Senate.
He said that the Commonwealth of Australia must continue to recognise and support marriage as meaning the exclusive and permanent union of one man and one woman.
Some proponents of same-sex marriage have argued that in the event of marriage being redefined, the Catholic Church and other religious communities will be protected or exempted from being required by law to perform same-sex marriages.
Cardinal Pell commented that such proposals fail to understand the immensely powerful role and influence of the law in our society. Changing the Marriage Act would, in practice, compel Catholics and other faith communities to recognize and accept same-sex marriages in their schools, social welfare, health care and adoption services, he pointed out.
When we permit same-sex relationships to mimic marriage we also say that a child gains no benefit from the knowledge that they were created through an intimate act of love between their parents, Cardinal Pell said.
“Although the community formed by a homosexual couple may involve genuine caring, affection and commitment to one another, it is not an inherently procreative community, because their sexual relationship is not designed to generate children,” he stated in the submission.
“Marriage is not simply a loving, committed relationship between two people, but a unique kind of physical and emotional union which is open to the possibility of new life,” he said.
“Marriage makes a unique and irreplaceable contribution to society because a stable, loving marriage provides the best conditions for raising children,” the submission added.
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On the Net:
Full text of the submission: http://www.sydneycatholic.org/people/archbishop/addresses/2012/2012330_461.shtml