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World Congress of Families Hails Victory for Natural Marriage in Australian Parliament (House of Representatives and Senate)

Contact: Don Feder, Communications Director, World Congress of Families, 508-405-1337, dfeder@rcn.com; The Howard Center for Family, Religion, & Society, 815-964-5819, media@worldcongress.orgmedia@profam.org

ROCKFORD, Ill., Sept. 21, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- What was supposed to be a historic advance for "same-sex marriage" turned into an ignominous defeat and a victory for marriage and the natural family, when the lower house of the Australian parliament voted overwhelmingly against a gay-marriage bill by a vote of 98 to 42 on September 19th in Canberra.  Then on September 20th, a similar bill was defeated in the Senate by 41 votes to 26.

This means that there will be no change to the definition of natural marriage in Australia.

World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs congratulated Australian pro-family forces on a hard-earned victory, including three World Congress of Families Partners in Australia, the Australian Family Association, Endeavour Forum and Dads-4-Kids Fatherhood Foundation.

"When the governing Australian Labor Party abandoned its longstanding defense of natural marriage, it was supposed to all be over except for the celebration on the part of homosexual activists," Jacobs observed.

"But thanks to the hard work of Australian groups like the National Marriage Coalition, the Australian Family Association, Endeavour Forum, the Dads-4-Kids Foundation, and the intense lobbying of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Australians in behalf of maintaining the historic definition of marriage, 40% of Labor MPs in the House joined members of the National and Liberal Parties to defeat this step toward the deconstruction of natural marriage," Jacobs added.

Earlier this year thousands of pro-family leaders gathered to affirm natural marriage in The Madrid Declaration of World Congress of Families VI (May 25-27, 2012), unanimously adopted by more than 3,200 delegates from 72 nations.  The Declaration provides in part: 

"We affirm the natural family to be the union of a man and a woman through marriage for the purposes of sharing love and joy, propagating children, providing their moral education, building a vital home economy, offering security in times of trouble, and binding the generations."

"We affirm that the natural family is a fixed aspect of the created order, one ingrained in human nature.  The natural family cannot change into some new shape; nor can it be re-defined by eager social engineers."

"We affirm that the natural family is the ideal, optimal, true family system.  While we acknowledge varied living situations, all other 'family forms' are incomplete or are mere fabrications of the state."

Jacobs further noted that in the United States, 31 states have now adopted the definition of marriage as "the union of a man and a woman," all by popular vote.  The latest was North Carolina, in May, by a vote of 61% to 39% where WCF Partner, the National Organization for Marriage was instrumental in defending natural marriage. "Every time the people have had a chance to vote directly on the issue, the only definition of natural marriage that protects children has carried decisively," Jacobs declared.

The Honorable Kevin Andrews MP, a 3-time World Congress of Families Speaker, Shadow Minister for Families, Housing and Human Services and author of the new book,  Maybe 'I do': Modern Marriage and the Pursuit of Happiness, has summarized the key reason for protecting natural marriage in his remarks at the 2012 National Marriage Day Rally at the Australian Parliament.  "Hundreds of social science studies reveal that having a mother and a father is the optimal condition for human thriving.  We remove this protection at great risk to many, especially children.  Marriage must be protected.  The future well being of children and society depends on it."

Join Kevin Andrews and thousands of other global leaders, scholars and activists at World Congress of Families VII: Happy Families, Healthy Economy, in Sydney, Australia, May 15-18, 2013, www.worldcongress.com.au.  To submit an abstract, research paper, speech or poster for WCF VII, click here or visit the call for papers at: wcfsydney2013.org.au/call-for-papers.

For interview requests or for more information on the World Congress of Families, go to www.worldcongress.org or contact Don Feder at 508-405-1337, dfeder@rcn.com

The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society (www.profam.org) is located in Rockford, Illinois and is an independent, non-profit research and education center that provides sound scholarship and effective strategies to affirm and defend the natural family, thus renewing a stable and free society.  The Howard Center is the publisher of the journal, "The Family In America" and is also the organizer of the World Congress of Families (WCF) project which is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and inter-faith people of goodwill from more than 80 countries that seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the 'seedbed' of civil society (as found in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).  The WCF was founded in 1997 by Dr. Allan Carlson, President of The Howard Center.  To date, there have been five World Congresses of Families -- Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004), Warsaw, Poland (2007) and Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2009).  World Congress of Families VI was held in Madrid, Spain in May 25-27, 2012.  World Congress of Families VII  will be held in Sydney, Australia, May 15-18, 2013, www.wcfsyndney2013.org.au.