A Christian activist has used the law of gravity and the independence of baby giraffes to argue against marriage equality during a Senate inquiry.
In his opening statement to the inquiry looking at religious exemptions to same-sex marriage, David Phillips from FamilyVoice Australia started with a nod to gravity.
"The effective power of legislators, parliaments and courts is limited by reality. Parliaments cannot decide that in the interests of space travel, they will abolish the law of gravity, parliaments cannot declare that two plus two equals five. They can do so but it has no effect, because it is just unreal," Phillips said.
"The institution of marriage arises from the biological reality that every human being on this planet begins life as the union of a sperm and ovum contributed by a man and a woman and so marriage is really the social and public expression of an underlying biological reality, which no matter what parliaments decide, the underlying biological reality is incapable of change."
Phillips then made an observation, which was underpinned by watching nature documentaries, about how baby animals, like giraffes, are more independent than human babies.
"Finally a right to find a family is propagated by the sexual union of a man and a woman [and] gives rise to children. One of the unique things about the human baby is its dependance on its mother or parents in the early years of life that you see in nature documentaries and so on."
"A baby giraffe is born and before long is staggering to its little legs and trotting along behind its mother. The human baby is far more dependent than the offspring of other species, is dependent on parents and in fact is dependent on parents for the next 20 years or so, until that child reaches maturity as an adult.
"Children do best when raised in a context of stable family of their biological parents."
The third day of public hearings is continuing.
Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Lane Sainty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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