End "political point-scoring" over same-sex marriage, says Archbishop

Canberra's Archbishop Carroll has expressed his support for a Federal government decision to overturn the ACT's same-sex union laws but is concerned the debate has become a "political point-scoring exercise."

The Catholic Weekly reports that the Archbishop Carroll of Canberra-Goulburn said that marriage is a union between man and women with life giving potential "needs to be guaranteed" its unique status.

The Archbishop was responding to the ACT government condemnation of the Federal Government's decision on Tuesday to overturn territory laws allowing gay civil unions. The ACT parliament has vowed to take its fight to the Governor-General.

The ACT voted last month to grant civil union status to same-sex couples, effectively giving them access to all of the rights and benefits granted to married couples, but stopping just short of bestowing the term "marriage."

Archbishop Carroll said: "I believe the ACT legislation went too far so as to make the civil unions so equal, so like marriage that they became indistinguishable. Therefore I believe the Commonwealth exercising its responsibility to safeguard marriage rightly intervenes."

"I would have hoped that all parties in the debate might try to work together to achieve a solution that would both safeguard the unique place of marriage and also guarantee that people are treated fairly. I fear this is generating into a political point-scoring exercise," he added.

Chris Meney, Director of the Marriage and Family Office of the Archdiocese of Sydney, says the efforts by the ACT government to accord same-sex relationships an equivalent status to marriage lack "a sense of reality".

"Governments have traditionally legislated to preferentially support heterosexual marriage because it is a social estate concerned with having and raising up children; with the shaping of the good citizen; with a nation's future," he said.

In the Archdiocese's submission last month to the NSW Government's review of the Adoption Act, Mr Meney states that "the best interests of the child both is childhood and in later life are served by the provision of both an adoptive mother and an adoptive father who have made the lifetime commitment of marriage".

Maintain unique status of marriage: archbishop (Catholic Weekly 18/6/2006)
'Don't let lesbian or gay couples adopt' (Catholic Weekly 18/6/2006)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)

Washington Cardinal clarifies view on same-sex unions (CathNews 14/6/06)
Sydney submission steps up fight against gay adoption (CathNews 2/6/06)
Cardinal hits out at "false" media coverage on Vatican gay marriage stance (CathNews 5/8/03)

Greens, Dems tackle civil union laws (news.com.au 15/6/06) - temporary link

15 Jun 2006