SYDNEY, Australia — The same-sex marriage battle has come to Australia as Aussies face the final days of a postal survey to redefine marriage in their country.
So far, 75 percent have voted and preliminary results show a majority approving legalized marriage between people of the same sex. The postal survey has drawn controversy across the country but it has also stirred the church to rise and fight for the preservation of marriage.
“Down a slippery slope” is how the Party for Freedom political party group describes Australia if voters approve same sex marriage.
Party for Freedom Member, Jeff Pryor says, “We are just carrying the slogans of the gay movement that they’re saying love is equal. Love is love. So if love is love, I wanna marry my child."
Another member, Nick Falks commented, “This is going to be the future after gay marriage. It may take decades but it’s all about sexual rights and we can’t deny them these sexual rights because it’s discrimination. And that’s nonsense for those who are pushing legalizing gay marriage in Australia. So why shouldn’t it extend to polygamist relationships. Why shouldn’t it extend to bestiality where does it end?"
Some Australians believe it’s a personal choice to love anybody they want, that everybody should be free in 2017 to make their choice if they want to get married or not, no matter what their sexuality is.
One lady commented that marriage should be redefined because different values are coming through, different minorities are having a voice, and it’s important we recognize them as legitimate people with feelings and with rights.
In the past weeks, Australians were sent postal ballots where they can vote yes or no to the question, “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
If Australians approve the survey, the law will only be changed if Parliament acts on the advisory vote.
Cultural analyst Bill Muehlenberg says, over the past 13 years, Parliament has tried to change the law 22 times. Each vote has failed. He believes that even if the no vote wins, it will only be a reprieve.
“A lot of people don’t know just how serious this is. The so-called safe schools program which is really a pro-homosexual program for our children... all of these, it’s a package deal. You get the same-sex marriage, you get all these other bits thrown in," Muehlenberg says.
Casey City Councilor Rosalie Crestani says she was persecuted for raising concerns about promoting homosexuality in the community.
“There seemed to be a favoring of the LGBT agenda. So I was very concerned about that. But they didn’t just agree with me and they did not support me. I was taken apart, lost all committee positions. I already knew I was going to lose but it was making a declaration. If you believe God is with you, you’re formidable. You won’t be free of persecution and mockery but you will make a difference,” Crestani says.
Muehlenberg says everything changes when you change the definition of marriage — change to the culture, your children, education, words themselves. The words "mother" and "father" will be taken out of the dictionary because they will be seen as discriminatory and bigoted.
Pastor Daniel Nalliah calls the postal survey on same sex marriage a blessing in disguise.
“I’ve never seen the churches in Australia so active in any issue as this one which is fantastic. Australia has proven there are thousands of men standing in the gap," he says. "This is not right. We want marriage to be kept between a man and a woman. When the same-sex marriage bill came out, the safe school program which was undercover in the schools got all exposed. We will not let the next generation slip away. We will stand and fight till the end.”
While the yes vote is in the lead, Pastor Nalliah and other Christians are encouraging remaining voters to reject same-sex marriage.
And regardless of what happens, churches like Catch the Fire are committed to pray for God’s plan to prevail in Australia.