In Jeopardy Again: The Children of Australia
By E. Douglas Clark
IOF Director of UN and International Policy
Every May 26th since 1998, Australians have celebrated their National Sorry Day to express regret to the so-called “stolen generations,” the half-caste Aboriginal children who for decades were forcibly removed from their homes and placed “for their own good” in training schools to become servants to white families and be assimilated into white society. As depicted in the film Rabbit-Proof Fence, in stealing children from their parents, the government also stole from the children themselves—their precious heritage of family and culture.
As Australia continues to seek healing and reparation for that colossal injustice, it now finds itself in the throes of another titanic issue threatening to affect its children: the debate over same-sex ‘marriage.’ This is the final week for Australians to register for the postal survey, a non-binding plebiscite. As the fierce debate continues, the same line is being trumpeted that has persuaded only a mere 24 nations, according to data published by the Pew Research Center, to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’: the so-called “right” of homosexuals to marry each other.
But it is not homosexuals’ rights that are at stake. “Same-sex marriage,” explains Margaret Somerville, Professor of Bioethics at University of Notre Dame Australia, “forces us to choose between giving priority to children’s rights or to homosexual adults’ claims.” And according to our colleague Dr. David van Gend, Australian medical doctor and president of IOF partner Australian Marriage Forum, when a government chooses to give priority to those adult claims, it is truly “stealing from a child”—hence the title of his insightful book, Stealing from a Child: The Injustice of ‘Marriage Equality’. Seeking to avert another national disaster for Australian children, Dr. van Gend urges his fellow Australians, “What will be in the back of our minds as we make our pencil mark? For me, it will always be the image of father, mother and baby; the triple-bond at the heart of human life. That is the Real Thing, the beautiful thing, at stake in this plebiscite.”
The same thing is at stake for all the world’s children, for whom IOF is at the forefront of advocating. Under the inspired leadership of Brian Brown, IOF is doing more than ever to marshal organizations and leaders around the globe through our World Congress of Families (such as our most recent in Budapest), our regional Congresses (such as those coming up in St. Lucia and Malawi), our Natural Family Journal, our United Nations work and publications (such as Family Capital and the SDGs), and The Cape Town Declaration: Universal Declaration on the Family and Marriage, which proclaims “the dignity of marriage as the conjugal bond of man and woman” and “as the patrimony of all mankind.”
Australia cannot afford to again steal from its children and apologize later in another National Sorry Day. We urge Australians and all who seek the best for children to, in the words of the Cape Town Declaration, “join in common cause, East and West, North and South, to stand for a truth that no government can change,” and “not falter or flag until the truth about marriage is embraced in our laws and honored in our lands.”