The National Marriage Coalition, meeting recently in Canberra, inaugurated 13 August as National Marriage Day. The purpose of this was to demonstrate that one of the most fundamental ways of defending our nation is by fostering healthy families which come from the faithful fulfilment of marriage vows in good times and in bad.
The Marriage Amendment Act of 2004 defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, voluntarily entered into for life. However, some now want to include in this definition same-sex relationships which are clearly not productive of normal healthy families, and must not become a "marriage" for respectability.
There are volumes of research demonstrating beyond doubt that intact, stable marriages are by far the best ways of retaining a good birthrate, and for the best conditions for children's nurture and society's well-being.
Divorce levels remain high - between one-third and one-half of all marriages - and de-facto and one parent families are increasing so much that our society is becoming deeply divided between high income married parent families and low- income single and de facto parent families, for example, through the high cost of housing.
The correlations between family breakdown and the pathways to poverty, educational failure, serious personal debt, addictions, crime and welfare-dependency are undeniable.
Families that persevere in good times and in bad have character and show that true, stable marriages really do matter; they deserve to be congratulated and encouraged.
This is not to belittle the heroic efforts of those who have to raise their children in less than ideal conditions, often through no fault of their own, e.g., through accident, illness or betrayal.
We must promote the traditional culture of the true, self-sacrificing love and life of stable marriages and reject the false, self-indulgent greed and lust of any unstable or sterile arrangement.