Wednesday, August 28, 2013

World News

Political Party promises to give straight newlywed couples $200 cash voucher
By Desmond Rutherford | CANBERRA, Australia -- In a recent voter's guide published by the Australian Christian Lobby anticipating the upcoming federal elections next month, the opposition coalition party was asked: “What will your party do to encourage marriage and resilience in couple relationships?” 
Opposition leader Tony Abbott's Liberal National Coalition responded with;
“The Coalition will provide a $200 voucher to all couples when they register their intention to marry, which will be redeemable on an approved marriage education, counselling or parenting skills service. 
Couples can use this voucher before or after their wedding to choose the service that best suits their needs, be it one which assists in developing communication skills, conflict resolution, financial management, parenting skills, or for counselling services if problems arise in a marriage.”  
The party has been a staunch defender of the concept of one man, one woman as is the current legal definition of marriage in Australia with Abbott refusing to allow his party members to stray from the party line and vote their conscience in any proposed parliamentary roll call vote on any measure that would move to legalise same-sex marriages in the country.
On the coalition's website it states:
“The Coalition policy supports the current definition of marriage contained in the Marriage Act.”
When asked for a clarification of the $200 voucher by the Sydney Morning Herald, a source in Abbott's office told the paper that the $200 vouchers will be used for “pre-marital counselling”, and added that same-sex couples would not be excluded from the initiative, and will be able to put the $200 voucher towards “relationship counselling.”
“Some people on Twitter have expressed outrage that while the Coalition doesn't support same-sex marriage, it would shell out cash to straight couples to get hitched,” the Herald published Monday.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who has been locked in a tight election race against Abbott has expressed his support for same-sex marriage.  Rudd's  Australian Labor Party’s policy on the issue is stated on the ALP's website:
“The Rudd Labor Government believes that all people are entitled to respect, dignity and the opportunity to participate fully in society regardless of their sexuality. 
“When the issue of same sex marriage has previously been considered by Parliament, Federal Labor has allowed each MP and Senator a conscience vote according to their own personal views. 
“This reflects the fact that people of good will can hold different positions on this fundamental matter.”
Some political observers see this latest maneuver by the Liberal National Coalition as no more than an election campaign ploy to garner votes.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the latest Nielsen poll on Aug. 23 showed the opposition Coalition group headed by Abbott's Liberal National Party with a 6-point lead -- 53 percent to 47 percent.