The Petitions Officer, Senate Table Office, SG 25, Parliament House, cc: to individual Members

For centuries the institution of marriage is both a symbol and protective legal framework for the natural family. Marriage is the special bond between a man and a woman to the exclusion of others.

Marriage is entered into with intent to hopefully produce and raise children, to support each other in times of need, to bring together families and to ensure the future of our people. Marriage and the natural family are the basic building blocks of civil societies in East and West.

In Australia, as in most other nations, legal marriage requires both partners to comply with a set of biological characteristics and laws: A bond of marriage cannot be formed between brothers and sisters, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, certain other blood relatives, underage partners, persons otherwise married or partners of the same sex. These partners may love each other and decide to live together, but they cannot form a union in marriage.

If a mutually expressed feeling of love would become the sole qualification for marriage under the law, how can parliamentarians reasonably reject demands to recognise polygamous marriage, marriage with children, or marriage between relatives? After the Italian parliament recognised same-sex unions in June 2016, lobby groups are already demanding equality for polygamous unions to reflect the cultural norms of certain migrant communities.

The possible ramifications are far reaching for children deprived of natural parents: Claims of biological and genetic discrimination, accusations of creating more stolen generations and the consequences for our demographic fabric with severe fiscal implications are most obvious.

De-facto partnerships and civil law arrangements are readily available to homosexual couples. There is no need to unsettle the special bond of marriage and abandon the natural family. Marriage is rightfully defined as the union of a man and woman, formed with the intent to create a natural family and to preserve the right of children, wherever possible, to be raised by their natural mother and father. We hold this to be a self-evident natural right deserving of its special status and ongoing legal protection in our society.

I join my fellow Australians in placing before you the following request and petition to the Senate of Australia and individual members of both Houses of Parliament:

1. Marriage and the natural family unit are the basic building blocks of our civil society. The Australian Parliament has previously recognised marriage as the special bond between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others and rejected proposed changes to the Marriage Act (1961).

2. Any renewed proposal to change this very foundation of our society, in particular any change to the Marriage Act, must be placed before the people in a binding referendum.

3. I ask that you, as my elected political representative, will
a. oppose any change to the Marriage Act (1961) in its current form,
b. encourage your fellow parliamentarians to do likewise,
c. require that any proposal to change the Marriage Act must be put before the people in a binding referendum,
d. ensure that the consequences of such changes are fully explained to the people,
e. demand that such a referendum shall coincide with the next federal election in order to minimise cost and not unnecessarily inconvenience the electors.

Primary petitioner:
Deborah Robinson c/o ALA Ltd, PO Box 290, South Melbourne, VIC 3205
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