Reject the Uluru Bark Petition
We, the undersigned, as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people of this country reject the claims made within the Uluru Bark Petition, which was delivered to the Federal Government in August 2015 by the Spirit and the Bride Conference. We call on the government to break ties with this group and to understand that we do not believe their views to be those held by the broader Indigenous community.
Our objections to the Uluru Bark Petition and the group which delivered it are manifold. These include, though are not limited to the following:
1. That the names of our groups and tribes have been listed on this petition without consultation and consent being obtained by the people who delivered it to parliament. There have been no meetings, nor has there been polling of the communities listed on the Bark Petition, yet by naming these groups they implicate us as having these same views. This is most certainly not the case. Of particular note is the fact that while it is named after Uluru, traditional owners of this area claim they have not been consulted.
2. We refute their notion that traditional marriage is solely the marriage between "man and woman" and any other type of marriage being recognised by the government would be an "affront to the Aboriginal People of Australia". The traditional practices of marriage are as broad as this country and most certainly have never totally conformed to the narrow definitions contained within the Marriage Act 1961 or the Marriage Amendment Act 2004. Many different types of "marriage" are recognised within Indigenous cultures and therefore we do not believe that the inclusion of Same Sex marriage within the governmental Marriage Act contravenes these cultural practices at all.
3. We resent the drawing of parallels between the Uluru Bark Petition and the Yirrkala Bark Petition. While Yirrkala can be seen as a key moment in the broader struggle for Indigenous rights, in particular land rights and recognition of traditional law (and lore), the Uluru Bark Petition can claim no such benefit to the broader Indigenous population of this country. The Uluru Bark Petition does not reflect our rights, rather it misrepresents cultural practice to suit what is an undoubtedly Christian agenda. This is further reflected by the prominence of Pastor Walker in this campaign; a man who has previously made incredibly bigoted and homophobic comments and whose views we also refute.
4. We are community. We, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, are a community of people who have experienced more discrimination than any other marginalised community within this landmass. We are a community of people which includes every sexuality possible and we walk together against discrimination. We therefore reject discrimination against people based upon the sexual orientation and support Marriage Equality.
Again, we call on the government to remove any association with the Uluru Bark Petition. We ask them to consult more broadly with the Indigenous population if they are indeed interested in our views on the changing of the Marriage Act to include Same Sex Marriage. We also ask them to cease representing the Uluru Bark Petition in both the traditional and social media as indicative of the broader Indigenous view on this issue, such as we have seen politicians like Abetz and Christensen do.
Sincerely, the following signatories,
(please include mob where possible and also include additional reasons for rejecting the bark petition as you see fit)
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