What are the best strategies UNA should adopt if we are to advance the cause of marriage equality prior to the July 2018 UCA Assembly?

We’re seeking your feedback – email us at info@unitingnetworkaustralia.org.au

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)
Click here.
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.

Uniting Network at Fair Day 2016 Feb 21st


Every year, more than 80,000 people descend on Victoria Park for Fair Day. This year, Uniting Network will have a stall with information about our group, a list of affirming congregations in Sydney, and information about our Mardi Gras float for this year. But most importantly, it’s a chance to meet people, have fun, and share our message with the wider community.
If you’d like to volunteer for a shift on the stall, email keithgordongerrard@hotmail.com to get on the roster. Or just come along and say g’day, grab one of our badges, and enjoy the rest of the festival.

21st February at 11:00am – 9:00pm
Victoria Park, City Road, Chippendale, NSW

For more information about Fair Day, go to www.mardigras.org.au/2016-festival-event-guide/fair-day

March with Uniting Network Australia @ Pride March Victoria | Sun 31 Jan 2016

Join UNA members & friends in 2016! Assemble from midday; March at 2.00pm sharp; party in the park until late.
Melbourne’s iconic annual Midsumma Pride March recognises and celebrates Victoria’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex and transgender community, while remembering the road we have already travelled on this journey to equity.
On Sunday 31 January 2016, Midsumma Pride March will celebrate it’s 21st Anniversary, so be sure you are there to show your colours! It is a key date on Victoria’s cultural calendar and a destination for interstate and international visitors.
The theme for 2016 is “Marriage Equality”!
There are two ways you can take part in the Midsumma Pride March:
Get your group together to march down Fitzroy Street, St Kilda and show your pride!
Are you proud? Got something to want to tell the world? Want to do it colourfully and publicly? We have just the answer; register your group to march down Fitzroy Street as part of the Midsumma Pride March.
Whilst we call it a march, we enthusiastically encourage dancing, singing, strutting, catwalking and voguing. The more choreographed and fabulous your group is, the more impact we can make, and the more spectacular the event gets. Take a look at Some Pride March Inspiration for a few ideas from around the world.
Purchase a picnic pack and join us for the post-march celebrations in Catani Gardens
Following the march down Fitzroy Street, the energy and pride will continue at Catani Gardens for a family-friendly, dynamic picnic in the park. Local traders will be selling delicious, delectable and devilishly good picnic baskets, so after you’ve watched the March, head down to Catani Gardens, grab a picnic basket and join us for the community celebrations.
More info @ https://midsumma.org.au/participate/pride-march/info

Uniting Network NSW/ACT – Public Meeting – 5.00 PM on 23rd September 2015 at Pilgrim House (next to Pitt St UC)

We will be having another Uniting Network NSW/ACT public meeting.

The format last time worked very well, so we will be following it again: informal; hearing reports back from a few people; sharing any news; working on upcoming events such as Mardi Gras; closing in prayer; and some refreshments and snacks provided.

Some agenda items we will include are:

* Reports back from a very positive meeting with NSW/ACT Moderator Myung Hwa Park just before National Assembly.
* Reports back from the recent UCA National Assembly in Perth in July, especially regarding the response to the Marriage Discussion Paper.
* The very positive correspondence with Matthew Tyne (Associate Director, Relief and Development) of UnitingWorld (UCA’s agency for international aid and development) who would also like to see LGBTI-inclusive policies in their aid program.
* Getting in touch with Kath Merrifield of Uniting Mission and Education to encourage involvement and membership with the Safe Schools Coalition for LGBTI inclusiveness.
* Correspondence with Liam Leonard from La Trobe University, who presented his paper “Whose home? The support needs of newly arrived, refugee or asylum seeking LGBT young people” at Health in Difference, the National LGBTI Health Conference in August and was featured on the Gay News Network website.
* Rev. Dr. Margaret Mayman’s meeting and prayer gathering on 17th August with Warren Entsch MP and other Christian leaders from around Australia in support of marriage equality.
* A break-out group of the volunteers to start organising and promoting our involvement in Mardi Gras (float, Fair Day, and Refugee Forum).
* Any other agenda item suggestions are welcome.

The meeting will be in a room in Pilgrim House, 262 Pitt Street, Sydney, next to Pitt St UC (photo below) on the evening of Wednesday 23rd September from 5.00 PM.

Keith G Gerrard
M: 0431 972 240


Uniting Network Australia says, ‘I do’ to marriage equality

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..

SMH | Marriage equality would be a victory for ordinary Christians

The Sydney Morning Herald
Marriage equality would be a victory for ordinary Christians
June 30, 2015
Margaret Mayman

(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…

Uniting Network NSW/ACT – Public Meeting – 6.00 PM on 24th June 2015 at Pilgrim House (next to Pitt St UC)

We are planning a public meeting for 24th June 2015 to be held in Pilgrim House (next to Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney city) at 6.00 PM. Please RSVP by 17th June. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

We would love to see as many interested people as possible. This is a chance for people in NSW/ACT to meet each other and the ‘office-bearers’ at state-level who are involved with Uniting Network, as well as anyone who wants to be part of Uniting Network. There may also be a need to re-affirm or elect some of the ‘office-bearing’ positions.
For people who are interested in joining or renewing membership of Uniting Network: details can be found on the national website at http://www.unitingnetworkaustralia.org.au/?page_id=5 Note: this is for official national membership and supports the website activity, expenses for Mardi Gras, etc.

Hope to hear from you by the 17th June and see you on 24th June.

Keith G Gerrard
M: 0431 972 240

MEDIA RELEASE – LGBTI Uniting Church members call for marriage equality

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.