Australia same-sex marriage poll: Perth Church leaders come out for 'yes' vote
A number of senior church leaders in Perth are coming together to launch Australian Christians for Marriage Equality in support of the 'yes' vote in the country's postal survey on gay marriage.
Anglican, Catholic, Quaker and free church leaders united to join the national campaign in a sign of how the poll is fracturing Australian Christians.
'Primarily it's about making Australia a fairer and more just society,' said the Dean of St George's Cathedral Perth, Richard Pengelley, who headed the move.
In the Anglican diocese of Perth there were a number of priests on both sides of the debate, he said.
'And that's OK, that's religious freedom,' he said. 'This will strengthen Australian society not weaken it.'
Lay Catholic and Federal Labor member Matt Keogh told around 40 other Christians gathered for the launch that same-sex marriage would not compel churches to perform gay ceremonies.
'No religion or church should ever dictate to the community...fundamental to everything we believe is love, and that's why marriage equality should become a reality in Australia,' he said.
'Churches will still be able to determine who they do and don't marry in the church,' he added.
'Knowing that, Catholics and other Christians should feel very free to vote in support of marriage equality.'
The Archbishop of Sydney announced the move last month, adding he made 'no apology' for backing the 'no' campaign in the country's upcoming postal poll to advise the government on whether to legalise gay marriage.
'The stakes are high and the cost is high,' Glenn Davies told a Sydney synod of churches. 'Yet the cause is just and it is a consequence of our discipleship to uphold the gift of marriage as God has designed it – a creation ordinance for all people.'
The debate building up to the postal survey has become increasingly toxic, with several churches targeted with threats of violence for their opposition to same-sex marriage.
Catalonia's regional parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain as the central government looks set to impose direct rule.
The October Revolution that heralded the triumph of communism in Russia had 'catastrophic consequences' for religious communities, according to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church
- How threats over a movie about the last tsar show conservative Christians' growing influence on Putin's Russia
- Most Brits and Canadians accept evolution – but 1 in 5 atheists struggle with it
- DACA: Did evangelicals help or hinder 'Dreamers'?
- Britain's best Christian festival – now with added Muslims
- In today's world, how can we find hope? This Christian pastor has some answers
- 'Give until it hurts': The Christian wisdom of Mother Teresa in 9 quotes
- How you can help some of the 40 million people in South Asia affected by floods and the changing climate
- What does God offer His people when they reach rock bottom?
- Loneliness in older people is a scandal. Here's what one church is doing about it
- Freedom of Belief Day: 4 reasons religious liberty still matters
- Bishop of Coventry warns of mass rape and 'deep human tragedy' in Myanmar
- Christian pastor and her family arrested in China for preaching in public park
- Revealed: Lost Vatican documents condemn communism, a 'false religion without God'
- 'Exodus in the Middle East unrivalled since the days of Moses': Vice President Mike Pence blasts Christian persecution in 8 quotes
- The Balfour Declaration at 100: Britain's promise to Israelis and Palestinians still hasn't been kept
- Head of Martin Luther's monastic order calls the reformer 'obstinate, intolerant, abusive and rude'
- The dark side of the Reformation: John Calvin and the burning of heretics
- Robert Jeffress and Catholicism: What does he really think?
- Anglican icon, spiritual giant: 9 quotes from Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple
- Pope Francis slaps down cardinal: You cannot 'impose' your interpretations of liturgy
- Campaigners in final push on Australia's gay marriage referendum
- Pope Francis celebrates 50-year dialogue with Methodists – the 'grandchildren of the Reformation'