CATHOLIC school parents are being urged to vote “no” in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.
A letter was sent home with Catholic school children from Bishop of Armidale reverend Michael Kennedy.
“I have to be frank with you that I am very concerned about the consequences that will come if the definition of marriage is changed,” Reverend Kennedy wrote.
“I have today voted “no” in the plebiscite and I urge you to do likewise.
“Doing so does not make me nor you a bigot or a homophobe.
“Nobody should be forced between supporting marriage and supporting their homosexual family and friends.”
State schools are forbidden to send political material to parents of children, but the same rules don’t apply to independent and Catholic schools.
Family Focus Consultancy director Rachel Sowden said politicising education through children is inappropriate.
“Having a church push their moral barrow through children is a little bit icky,” she said.
“We’ve got to be mindful too that in some of these schools there might be children that are questioning their sexuality – that would like to know that there’s a supportive environment.
“Our LGBTQI kids commit suicide at an even higher rate than rural children – and they’re more successful at it.
“When you add rural LGBTQI kids to the mix, we’re losing them and we shouldn’t.”
Parents of students as far as Glen Innes and Inverell have received the letter.
One parent who received the letter wished to remain anonymous to protect her children.
“I know there are children in this system that identify as LGBTQI, they attend the catholic schools, many not just here but many towns and cities,” she said.
“How are those students and parents to feel about this? I’m not a member of the LGBTQI community but I do have relations who are.
“They would be mortified receiving something like this from a “safe zone” for their children.
“People complain about text messages, how about being targeted form an educational institution?”
Reverend Kennedy wrote that the legal bullying, harassment and penalties suffered by those who resist the LGBTQI agenda is “frightening”.
“There is every reason to believe the same would happen in our own country,” Reverend Kennedy wrote.
“I base this on the intimidation that supporters of traditional marriage are already experiencing.”
The legal definition of marriage between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others, was introduced in 2004.
The Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey forms must be mailed by October 27.
The Express has contacted reverend Michael Kennedy for comment.