The Uniting Church’s LGBTIQ Network has welcomed the result of the postal survey concerning same-sex marriage.
“It is very pleasing to see that more than 60% of Australians voted to support same-sex marriage”, stated Uniting Network national secretary Warren Talbot.
“Although unnecessary, the postal survey confirmed that a significant majority of Australians support marriage equality for LGBTIQ Australians. Marriage is about love and commitment, not the sex or gender identity of the two people involved.”
Mr Talbot said that the Parliament should proceed, before Christmas, to amend the Marriage Act.
“Proposals to introduce new forms of discrimination against LGBTIQ people are completely unacceptable. The draft Bill from Senator Dean Smith provides adequate protection for religious freedom, in addition to those already included in anti-discrimination legislation.”
Mr Talbot said that it was now time for the Uniting Church to amend its policy on marriage.
“It is a plain denial of the Gospel that all LGBTIQ people are systematically denied access to one of the church’s major rituals, namely marriage. This policy sends a message of exclusion and rejection to LGBTIQ communities and others.
“Our Uniting Church already accepts openly LGBTIQ clergy, including those in committed same-sex relationships.
“There is an opportunity, at the Assembly meeting in 2018, to change the church’s policy and give substance to our stated aim of being truly inclusive.”
Mr Talbot suggested that quite a number of Uniting Church clergy will want to celebrate same-sex marriages whether the Assembly changes its policy or not.
“It might be a case of local congregations taking the lead, witnessing to the love and grace of God as we risk following the Way of Jesus.”
Warren Talbot – Secretary
Uniting Network Australia