In the ongoing debates about same sex marriage in Australia (shortly to be the subject of a voluntary postal survey conducted by the Australia Bureau of Statistics, if it survives a High Court challenge), a number of professional organisations have decided to weigh in, in support of the “Yes” vote. The most recent such statement was issued by a combination of lawyers and doctors (see a press report of August 19 here, and the full text of the joint statement, by the NSW Bar Association president Arthur Moses, president of the Law Society of NSW Pauline Wright, and president of the NSW division of the Australian Medical Association Brad Frankum, is here.)
A number of lawyers around Australia, myself included, were concerned that this statement was not made after consultation with members of the various organisations, and in fact was misleading precisely at the point where one would expect a statement from lawyers to be accurate, in its statements about the law. The “Wilberforce Foundation”, an informal coalition of practising lawyers and legal academics committed to the preservation and advancement of common law values, rights and freedoms, has issued a press release expressing our concerns about the combined statement. The essence of the concerns are summarised in this press report of August 31. For those interested in the full text of the statement, it can be found here: Wilberforce Foundation Media Release .
It should be noted that the Australian Medical Association also issued a similar statement of support for the “Yes” case, which has also been subsequently challenged by a number of senior medical professionals as wrong on its assertions about a lack of peer-reviewed research on outcomes for children of same sex couples. As with the combined medico-legal statement, this AMA statement was not issued after consultation with members.
Finally, speaking of a lack of consultation, as I prepare this post I see that WordPress seems to have decided to add a “rainbow banner” to the top of my page, without asking me if I would like such. This of course is currently seen as a symbol of support for same sex marriage. As would be well-known to regular readers, that is not a cause I support. I trust others will not be confused by the banner (I am not sure whether it will appear on platforms on which the blog is read or not.)
The main event associated with the rainbow in the Bible, of course, was God’s judgement on humanity for its rebellion against his will (Genesis 6-9), and offer of salvation to those who chose to join themselves to his chosen Saviour. That is a message I am very happy to support, and so while it is imposed on me, that is the message I will choose to see in the rainbow.