PRESS RELEASE 15th August, 2015
Aboriginal Elders stand strong in culture – Marriage between man and woman is sacred
Over 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including senior Elders, travelled from various regions including the Kimberleys, Western Australia and Far North Queensland, to gather at Parliament House yesterday to raise a united Indigenous voice on the ‘Same Sex-marriage issue.’
That voice was presented to the Australian government on a traditional petition named the Uluru Bark Petition and was written in Pitjantijatjara language and in English and signed by a senior Elder of Mutitjulu, a traditional owner of Uluru.
The heart of the Petition states that marriage between man and woman is, and has always been, sacred to the oldest living culture on earth. The Petition adds that fathers and mothers – who are deeply honored in Aboriginal culture – also form the “foundation of our families, clans and systems, and pass down our teachings, our culture, our traditions, from generation to generation.”
As the Uluru Bark Petition is only the second traditional petition ever handed to the Government in the history of Australian Parliament, the receiving of this Petition strongly signifies the importance this stand and declaration has for Aboriginal people across this nation.
Senator Eric Abetz and the newly appointed Aboriginal Senator Joanna Lindgren, who has also signed the Petition, officially received the Uluru Bark Petition from Aboriginal Elders on behalf of the Australian Senate, and in time, shall present the Petition to the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.
The various Aboriginal groups, as represented, submitted the Petition to the nation with confidence, stating, “we do not make any stand based on sexuality, but choose to make our stand based on our ancient continuing culture and our understanding of the sacredness of marriage, that unites us all.”
Previously, Aboriginal people did not have a voice, and when we did, we were often misrepresented in the media. Now it is our time to stand up and speak, to be heard, and to be respected. Pitjantijatjara Elder, Yuminia Anyupa Ken from Ernabella, said, “People are saying in our language no, we want man and women married, not man to man and women to women, we do not want.”
The Indigenous Elders who carried this Petition forward, including Auntie Yumina Anyupa Ken and Uncle Pepaii Carol from Ernabella, respect all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups and peoples and acknowledge that they do not speak for their country or language groups.
However, in putting this Petition forward, we recognise and were declaring that, the union between man and women is deeply a part of our ancient and continuing culture across all of our communities, and that our fathers and mothers provide the foundation for those communities.
In this Hour, the Aboriginal people and senior Elders who have put this declaration forth, now invite and call upon the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community as one Indigenous Australia, and all nations, to stand together with us to ensure that the institution of marriage is not redefined, “and in doing so, honour the sanctity of both the tradition of marriage and the spiritual implication of this sacred union” as one between man and woman. (extract from the Uluru Bark Petition). www.ulurubarkpetition.com
For further interviews please contact:
Uluru Bark Petition Media Office
Every child comes from and needs BOTH a mother and a father. Same-sex "marriage" intentionally keeps either a mother or a father from the child. Government should protect the child through upholding traditional marriage.
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