As indicated in a recent Policy Update, a number of schools have sought information and resources to use within their school communities outlining the importance and value of the current definition of marriage.
Obviously, schools operating as a ministry of a particular church will need to refer to the position of that church to guide their approach. Many denominations have considerable resources available on their websites on this issue. Some of these are included below –
The responses from various Dioceses around Australia has been mixed. The Sydney Diocese has indicated that it considers the Bill proposed by Senator Smith as not providing sufficient protection for religious freedom and has been actively involved in the establishment of the Coalition for Marriage.
The Adventist Church in Australia has provided a comprehensive range of materials on there website here.
Australian Christian Churches
The Australian Christian Churches have made a brief statement and called for a National Day of Prayer & Fasting among ACC churches on 12 September, see details here.
A range of materials particularly focussed on the plebiscite is available on their website.
As one of the larger Australian Christian Churches affiliated churches Hillsong Church in Sydney, has made a statement.
The Presbyterian Church has made a brief statement opposing any change to the definition of marriage.
Uniting Church in Australia
The National Assembly has prepared a range of Resources for Respectful Conversations on Marriage. The Church is not taking a particular position on the issue.
Schools would also be familiar with the Don’t Mess With Marriage booklet prepared by the Australian Catholic Bishops and the subject of a complaint to the Tasmanian Equal Opportunity Commission. The Catholic Church has a range of other materials and Q&As outlining their position on their website here.
Rev Peter Kurti, a Research Fellow co-ordinating the Religion and Civil Society program at the Centre for Independent Studies has also written some useful articles –
Associate Professor Neil Foster from the University of Newcastle addresses the legal consequences of a change in his paper Legal implications of same sex marriage for Christian life and ministry.
A number of groups are also making use of a publication from the Australian Christian Lobby, Timeless Marriage and Public Policy.
Internationally Dr Ryan Anderson, Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, provides a useful overview of marriage and its public policy implications in his publication Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and the Consequences of Redefining It.
In accordance with s 6(5) of the Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Act 2017, this communication was authorised by Mark Spencer, Executive Officer, National Policy of Canberra for Christian Schools Australia Limited.