A senior cleric from the South Australian Catholic Church has warned state Premier Jay Weatherill’s backing of same sex marriage will open the door and the floodgates to polygamy and lead to “weaken the family as the basis of society”.
Mr Weatherill has backed a move for South Australia to go it alone on marriage equality if the Australian Federal Parliament does not move on the issue in the coming year. There are a number of legal disputes regarding whether states have the power to regulate marriage, which would need to be explored and resolved before South Australia could change current marriage discrimination.
Bishop Greg O’Kelly of The Port Pirie Diocese issued a statement this week attacking Mr Weatherill’s position. “What the Premier has described as marriage equality is not the equal to marriage as all cultures and faiths have understood it throughout the centuries,” Bishop O’Kelly said, adding “Marriage demands a man and a woman in a vowed permanent union that is open to life. If people are to be entitled, as the premier says, to express their identity in any way they wish, and that is all that constitutes marriage, then the gates are open to all sorts of arrangements like polygamy and polyandry, and the weakening of the family as the basis of society.”
Some of South A ustralia’s MP’s are preparing to bring in a vote at the states Upper House if Federal Parliament does not back its own gay marriage bill. Similar to Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings who has also backed a Tasmanian state-based reform push if the Federal Govt don’t move forward.
Many are just dismissing the Bishops remarks as those often spouted by outdated and out of touch homophobic clerics when it comes to same sex equality and same sex marriage.