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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2642

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - I have moved that consideration of my proposed amendments be postponed. If Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson wishes to proceed with his matter, he can proceed with it and it will be dealt with. If Senator Greenwood wishes to proceed with a matter, let it be dealt with. Then we will postpone consideration of clause 4.

Senator Guilfoyle - And deal with mine at a later stage?

Senator MURPHY

Ordered that consideration of the amendments circulated by the Attorney-General be postponed.

Senator Sir KENNETHANDERSON (New South Wales) ( 12.41)- I move:

In sub-clause ( I ), insert the following new definition: marriage', according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life:.

I think it is proper for me to say at the outset that this is a proposal that has been advocated by a group of people in the community. I find that it is acceptable to me and I believe that it should be incorporated in the interpretation clause of this Bill. In the Bill there is no definition of marriage as such, and I believe that there is no definition of marriage as such in the Matrimonial Causes Act either. In referring to the title of the Family Law Bill, I think that my Tasmanian colleague, Senator Everett, read out the long title which states:

A Bill for an Act Relating to Marriage and to Divorce and Matrimonial Causes and, in relation thereto Parental Rights and the Custody and Guardianship of Infants, and certain other Matters.

When one looks at the interpretation clause one sees reference to a marriage counsellor and to a matrimonial cause which refers to dissolution of marriage and nullity of marriage. Throughout the interpretation clause there are references to marriage. Then one sees reference to the definition of other matters, but there is no definition of marriage as such.

I am aware that there is a section of the Marriage Act a definition of marriage as such. We all recognise that in the Matrimonial Causes Act there is provision for the dissolution of marriage, as there is in a more dramatic way in this Bill. But that does not prejudice, in my mind, the view that the definition of marriage in the Marriage Act should be incorporated in this Bill. I feel bound to say that in putting forward that view 1 am in very good company, because I am sure that all honourable senators would have received an open letter addressed to all members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives. I hope that Senator James McClelland has read that open letter.

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Which one are you referring to?

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - I am referring to the second one which was sent over the signature of various people. I will name them because they are very significant people in the community. They have advocated the inclusion of the definition of marriage in this Bill. They are:

Frieda Brown, M.A. (Oxon.), 30 William Street, Roseville, N.S.W.

G.   R. Christmas, B.A. LL.B., Sydney.

Dr ThomasJ. Connolly, St Patrick's College, Manly, N.S.W.

James Cardinal Freeman, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney.

R.   W. Gee, 1 74 Phillip Street, Sydney.

F.   J. Gormly, Q.C., 180 Phillip Street, Sydney.

Kenneth Harrison, 15 Wallami Avenue, Caringbah, N.S.W.

Dr ClairIsbister, O.B.E., North Shore Medical Centre, St Leonards, N.S.W.

Rev. B. Judd, 188 Forbes Street, Darlinghusrt, N.S.W.

Most Rev. Edward Kelly, Auxiliary Bishop, St Mary's Presbytery, Concord, N.S.W.

The Most Rev. M.L. Loane, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney.

Josephine Lonergan, LL.B., Gordon, N.S.W.

F.   S. McAlary, Q.C., 180 Phillip Street, Sydney.

Rev. F. Nile, 379 Kent Street, Sydney.

The Hon. Athol Richardson, 296 Old Canterbury Road, Summer Hill, N.S.W.

Dean Lance Shilton, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney.

Margaret Slattery, 63 Billyard Avenue, Wahroonga, N.S.W.

Rev. Dr Gloster S. Udy, Chairman of the Parramatta District Methodist Church.

I have read out the names of those people in order to make the point that the view that the definition of marriage should be included in this Bill has been supported by a quite significant cross-section of eminent people in the community. Some of the people belong to the hierarchy of both the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. There is also a Queen's Counsel who is practising at the Bar in Sydney. There are other people of high repute who are involved in churches other than the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. Indeed, there is a doctor of medicine.

My amendment seeks to include in the Bill the definition of marriage as I understand it appears in the Marriage Act. I believe that this does not prejudice the argument that this is a Bill to provide for divorce. If we are going to talk about marriage and as the Bill contains definitions of other things, I think it should contain the definition of marriage as between man and woman, because we are living in a world where we are reading that certain people are suggesting that marriage, should be allowable in relation to certain deviants as I think we generally and universally accept it.

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