Sydney Anglicans aim to ban support for LGBTI+ community on their property

A chapter of Sydney’s Anglican Church is preparing to ban LGBTI+ advocacy and same-sex marriages on their property, Fairfax Media have revealed.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that documents show the 51st Synod of the Sydney diocese is preparing to debate policy next week that would disallow weddings between two people of the same gender in their churches, as well as any associated event (e.g. wedding reception) in their buildings.

The policy would also stop anyone from using church property for “advocacy for transgender ideology” or “advocacy for expressions of human sexuality contrary to our doctrine of marriage.”

The diocese made headlines last year ahead of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, when Archbishop Glenn Davies donated $1 million to the No campaign.

LGBTI+ advocates have raised concerns over these changes while parliament debates the recently leaked Ruddock Review into religious freedom, and the right for religious schools to discriminate based on sexuality or gender identity.

Former pastor and co-chair of the Equal Voices LGBTI+ advocacy group Joel Hollier says the proposal is designed to silence those who support the LGBTI+ community.

“The message is potently clear – no priest or pastor has the right to speak in favour of marriage equality,” Hollier said.

“Nor are the able to speak freely to the reality of parishioners experiencing gender dysphoria. Churches that suggest otherwise will face consequences.”

Hollier’s fellow Equal Voices co-chair Steff Fenton has described the move as a “grab for privilege.”

“Worldwide we can see the movement of the Anglican communion is toward the full inclusion of LGBTI people,” Fenton said.

“They have so much power and seem to speak for a lot of people, without the data to back up how many people are behind that ‘majority’.”

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