15 November 2017
Rev. Dr Margaret Mayman, Chair of Australian Christians for Marriage Equality, said, “Australians from all walks of life have voted for equality and dignity, including people of faith.”
“Consistent polling has shown that Christians have supported marriage equality for some time now.
“Christians support marriage equality because of our faith, not in spite of it. At the heart of Jesus’ message is the command to love our neighbours, without discrimination. That’s why Christians have voted Yes to Equality”, Dr Mayman said.
Australian Christians for Marriage Equality now calls on Parliament to support the legislation proposed by Senator Dean Smith.
Rev. Dr Peter Catt, Dean of St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane, said, “Since the beginning of this survey, we have had a clear and simple message: all people are equally loved by God and deserve to be treated equally under the law. We understand this is a matter of civil marriage laws. Churches and other faith communities will continue to be free to practice their own traditions.”
Suggestions that churches or individual people of faith need additional exemptions from the rules governing everyone else are groundless, and contradict the teachings of our faith”, Dr Catt said.
“Let us be clear: there is no basis in either democratic principles or the practice of Christian faith for undermining marriage equality with new forms of discrimination against LGBTI people”, Dr Mayman said.
Pastor Brad Chilcott of Activate Church in Adelaide said, “Dean Smith’s Bill protects religious freedom. For some religious celebrants that will mean not officiating at the marriages of LGBTI couples, in the same way that some do not marry divorced persons or couples of different faiths. Other faith communities will delight in being able to offer marriage to LGBTI people”.
"The true intent of Senator Paterson’s alternate bill is to remind LGBTI Australians that some people will never accept them as equals, to make sure they know their place as second class citizens”, Mr Chilcott said.
“People who have always opposed marriage equality need to accept that the overwhelming majority of Australians have seen through the fear campaign and have instead embraced equality for their LGBTI family members, friends and co-workers. There can be no more stalling tactics or attempts to subvert the clear will of the Australian people. It is time for the Parliament to do its job, and pass the Bill proposed by Dean Smith before Christmas”, Mr Chilcott said.