The Sydney Star Observer reports... The House of Representatives public hearing on same-sex marriage, held at NSW Parliament on April 12, saw the largest non-Christian religious faith in Australia come out in support of marriage equality.
The Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils (FABC), representing Buddhist laypeople, and the Australian Sangha Association, representing Buddhist clergy, both put their support on the record.
Buddhist monk Bhante Sujato spoke on behalf of both groups.
"We should be focusing on the alleviation of human suffering, responding to human need,” Sujato told MPs.
A FABC submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs by Bodhinyana Monastery abbot Ajahn Brahm said religion had never owned the institution of marriage.
“Marriage was not always a religious ceremony,” Brahm wrote.
“Well before Christianity and Islam appeared, and independent of any Jewish tradition, Buddhism recognised and supported marriage without claiming to have invented it. The fact is that the rite of marriage existed before religion, and thus no one faith can legitimately claim ownership of it.
“The suggestion that a civil contract is good enough for gays and lesbians is like throwing crumbs to the hungry. It is not acceptable to them, or to any other clear-thinking person.
“We owe it to the institution of marriage, and to those who are married, to extend its warmth to those who are presently excluded. Extending love can only make for a better society.”
Whilst the Buddists believe in allieviating human suffering, Jim Wallace has declared it a sad day for free speech because Christians like himself are now being being made accountable for their discriminatory practices.
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