More than 100 religious leaders voice their support for marriage equality

More than 100 religious leaders from all major religions in Australia have signed a joint statement calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to legislate for civil marriage equality now.

This joint statement, organised by The Equality Campaign,  recognises that civil marriage equality is based on the values of love and commitment and is about ensuring every Australian is afforded the same dignity and respect for their committed relationships.

The Reverend Dr Peter Catt who is the Dean of the Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane is one of the religious leaders voicing support change. 

“I see marriage equality as something I support because of my faith, its a matter of justice and if we are really interested in humans flourishing then we should be enabling the form human expression which is being married to the person you love.” Rev Dr Catt said.

Long standing marriage equality supporter Chris Bedding, the Rector of the Anglican Parish of Darlington-Bellevue in Perth, said the allowing same-sex couples to wed will not affect the lives of people of faith.

“Marriage equality will provide access to marriage to those who yearn for it, and won’t stop people of faith from framing their lives around their beliefs.

“Marriage requires constant generosity and sacrifice for another person. I value marriage so highly that I want all couples to be able to experience the level of love that marriage demands.” Bedding said.

Australians for Equality say the leaders signing the joint statement want to see Australian marriage law include all Australians, which requires a change to the legal definition of civil marriage to include LGBTI people’s relationships and families.

Executive Director of The Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady said the majority of people of faith in Australia were supported the idea of change.

“The majority of the people of faith in Australia support marriage equality so it’s important that their voices are heard.

“Marriage Equality is about civil marriage and will have no impact on anyone’s faith, religious institution or sacrament. It is about allowing the State to treat every Australian with dignity,” Brady said.

Francis Voon, the Faith Outreach Coordinator for the campaign said the number of people of faith who support marriage equality was rapidly growing.

“It is wonderful to see the ever growing number of faith leaders having their voices heard coming out to support marriage equality,” Voon, said.

“It is important that the Government hear the many and varied voices from religious communities who support civil marriage equality because they know that it takes from no one and makes our country a fairer and more inclusive place to live.”

Co-Chair of Australians for Equality Anna Brown said the recent cross-party Senate Report into Marriage Equality shows how it is possible for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples to marry while providing assurances around the continued protection of religious freedoms.

“We have the support of so many religious leaders across the nation, the majority of MPs in the parliament and the majority of Australians. We have a cross party consensus on how marriage equality can be delivered, we just need the parliament to do its jobs so we can all move forward.

“Our national campaign will continue to remind our MPs that fairness and equality are at the heart of Australian society. We are promoting some of the greatest human values of love, respect and happiness,” Brown said.

Australian Christian Lobby says Christians are being persecuted 

The statement of support from the religious leaders is a marked difference of opinion from the views of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) who argue that people of faith are being demonised and persecuted by marriage equality supporters.

“The bullying and demonisation we have seen this year of anyone who dares to dissent has been breathtaking.” ACL Executive Director Lyle Shelton said in a post of the group’s website.

“This is not the Australia many of us grew up in and it will only get worse if the law changes.

“Just look at the relentless demonisation of Pastor Margaret Court, one of the world’s greatest tennis players ever.” Shelton said.

The post on the ACL website calls on it’s followers to sign a petition calling on the government to hold the a plebiscite on the issue of marriage equality.

The ACL says the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester, London, Melbourne and Kabul are a reason for people to show their support for their petition.

In a second post Shelton said people who voice support for traditional marriage will be treated as pariahs.

“Voice out loud your concerns about redefining marriage and programs in schools which teach children their gender is fluid and you will be made a pariah.”

Shelton said those quoting from The Bible would face brutal punishment, before suggesting Australia could soon resemble North Korean society.

OIP Staff


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