Click HERE to read our Uniting for Civil Marriage Equality statement.
Contact Warren Talbot (National Secretary) to sign the statement – see contact details on statement.
(Pictured: Uniting Network Australia’s logo [among other organisations] in support of marriage equality – we say “no” to a plebiscite).
(Photo by Andrew Hill)
On Saturday 5th March, Sydney’s Oxford Street was awash with rainbows and glitter and filled with music for the annual Mardi Gras parade. On one float, 70 people marched with ‘Uniting Network’ – the LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer) members in the Uniting Church and our friends, families, and supporters. Marchers met in Pitt Street Uniting Church beforehand with Uniting marchers to pray and heard from Steve Teulan (of Uniting Ageing) and Peter Worland (Uniting CEO). Then, the group made its way to Hyde Park. On the way, they were drumming (to demonstrate anger) and holding lanterns (as a symbol of light). This is because the theme of the float was more sombre than the typical Mardi Gras celebrations: “LGBTIQ Refugees Are Welcome Here.” The float was a protest directed towards the Australian government’s treatment of people fleeing persecution overseas because of their LGBTIQ status. There are currently numerous LGBTIQ people having their claims of asylum in Australia slowly processed; some are detained on Manus Island. You can find pictures from the night (taken by Andrew Hill) here and a photo montage here.
The parade followed a forum held at Pitt Street on 24th February with the theme ‘LGBTIQ Refugees: Australia Can Do More.’ Speakers included Gillian Triggs of the Human Rights Commission, Imam Nur Wasame of ‘Marhaba’ for LGBTIQ Muslims, and Che Bishop COO of Asylum Seekers Centre. The forum was well-attended by church members and community groups, and finished with new avenues for concerned people to take action together.
After a hectic, exciting, and humbling experience preparing for Mardi Gras, Uniting Network now looks forward to the national gathering in Melbourne in June: “Daring to Reach Out: Honouring Our Diversity.” More info below…
Click here for more info & to purchase your ticket(s) and accommodation.
LGBTQI Refugees – Australia can do more: Queer Thinking Forum
Registration essential: https://register.eventarc.com/32715/lgbtiq-refugees-time-to-do-more
Hosted by Uniting Network Australia, and Pitt St Uniting Church
The conversation on LGBTIQ refugees demands immediate attention. There is an increasing number of asylum claims based on gender or sexual orientation, yet a narrowing of the political and media conversation about race and refuges in Australia.
Whether it is providing better care, support and rights to LGBTIQ refugees within the current system or whether it is changing the political landscape of Australia so that our nation can be a welcoming refuge for those fleeing persecution based on gender or sexuality, this forum will centre on the provocation that Australia can do more.
A panel of experts will explore some of the unique challenges faced by many LGBTQI refugees, outline the current complex policy landscape and propose strategies for long, medium and immediate term action to make our Australia a place of inclusiveness and refuge from gender violence and sexually-based persecution.
NB: This is a secular discussion. People from all walks of life are invited to attend.
Moderator: Rev. Dr. Margaret Mayman (Minister Pitt St Uniting Church)
Professor Dennis Altman (acclaimed author, Queer Wars)
Naomi Steer (National Director, Australia for UNHCR)
Imam Nur Warsame (Marhaba Melbourne)
Tim Wilson (Human Rights Commissioner)
Event Date: Wednesday 24th February 2016
Event Time: 7pm – 9pm
Venue: Pitt Street Uniting, 264 Pitt Street, Sydney 2010
Registration Essential: https://register.eventarc.com/32715/lgbtiq-refugees-time-to-do-more
We’re seeking your feedback – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A number of resources, including UNA’s official submission to the Assembly, are available below. These resources are from individuals or official groups within the Uniting Church. We would be pleased to receive any further resources, especially from within the Uniting Church, and we will add them to the website.
For our official UNA Call for Marriage Equality 2015, click here.
For UJA’s submission, click here.
For UNA’s Response to the Assembly Discussion Paper on Marriage 2014, click here.
For Pitt Street’s submission, click here.
For UJA’s Response to the Assembly Discussion Paper on Marriage 2014, click here.
Click here for the Assembly documents: the Working Group paper and the Bos paper, and decisions of the 1997 Assembly.
And here’s a great personal essay to get you thinking…
Marriage Equality and the Uniting Church (Author: Shelly Frances Kershaw)
For Assembly decisions prior to 2015, click here.
For the Draft Decisions of the 2015 Assembly and the President’s Letter on Marriage, click here.
Here you can find our statement to the members of the 14th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia re: marriage equality.
A Call for Marriage Equality
Australia has undergone many changes in attitudes to sexuality and gender identity during the past forty years. The Uniting Church has been one part of those changes. With both joy and pain we wrestled with matters of human sexuality through much of the nineties and the naughties. We are more mature, united and respectful of diversity as a result. | Read more..
The Sydney Morning Herald
Marriage equality would be a victory for ordinary Christians
June 30, 2015
(Following their conscience: Emotions flow in Dublin as Ireland votes in favour of allowing same-sex marriage. Photo: Cathal McNaughton)
The recent decision to legalise marriage for same sex couples in Ireland has been cast as a victory against the Catholic Church. What secular commentators miss is that it was a decisive victory for ordinary Christians. | Read more…
The UnitingJustice response (Discussion Paper on Marriage) is now available on their website.
MEDIA RELEASE (Uniting Network Australia – NSW/ACT)
LGBTI Uniting Church members call for marriage equality
11 June 2014
Over 60 LGBTI members, families and allies, in the Uniting Church met for their 11th national conference over the Queens Birthday Long Weekend in Sydney.
The conference issued a call to the wider Uniting Church to act for justice for LGBTI people in various specific areas, such as marriage equality.
“There were many things we celebrated about the Uniting Church”, said Convenor Warren Talbot. “Uniting Church members place a high value on being inclusive.”
Talbot said that the conference held a constructive dialogue with the national head of the Uniting Church, the Revd Prof. Andrew Dutney; and the NSW leader, the Revd Dr Brian Brown.
“There are many areas where the Uniting Church can do more to welcome and affirm LGBTI people, our partners and children”, Talbot said.
The conference’s specific proposals to the Church include:
– Support for marriage equality.
– Safe programs for LGBTI students in Uniting Church schools.
– Non-discrimination for LGBTI staff and service users in community services and aged care.
– Overseas aid programs to support LGBTI communities.
Contact: Warren Talbot, Convenor, 0458 852 882
The full Conference statement is available here.