Perth Anglicans back recognition of same-sex relationships
The Perth Synod has thrown its weight behind same-sex couples’ fight for legal recognition of their relationships, by voting for the second time in to years to recognise same sex couples' civil unions.
The vote, which received a two thirds majority, called for legal acknowledgement of civil unions between same-sex couples.
The motion was brought to the Synod by the Rector of Darlington-Bellevue Anglican parish, the Reverend Chris Bedding.
Bedding said a similar motion had been vetoed by the Archbishop in 2012, but this new motion had passed with a convincing majority.
"We presented a motion saying that the Anglican Church and the Diocese of Perth would like to acknowledge that legal recognition of same-sex relations can coexist with legal recognition of marriage between a man and a woman," Bedding said.
"As a church, we are not ready to have marriage-like ceremonies for same-sex couples in our churches yet, but we wanted to say that if the government has civil recognition of unions or equality, then we are comfortable with that."
Marriage equality advocates have welcomed the recognition by the Anglican church of same-sex couples' rights.
Acting Director of Australian Marriage Equality, Ivan Hinton, said, “Today's message, from the clergy and lay people of the diocese of Perth, is reflective of the ever increasing community support to achieve social justice in Australia.
“Support for the legal recognition of the relationships of same-sex couples is strongly held by many Australians, including people of strong and sincerely held Christian faith.
“It is increasingly clear that the Religious Right does not represent the will of most Australian Christians”.
Hinton said he looks forward to more mainstream inclusive and compassionate views as steps towards marriage equality continue to move forward.
“Civil marriage is a secular issue and more than 70 per cent of Australians choose marriages that are not religious in nature and are not conducted by priests.
“In this context, we call on the Federal government to recognise that civil marriage equality is supported by the majority of Australians including many people of faith who recognise the separation between church and state in federal relationship laws.”
The motion needs the support of the Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft, before it can be officially adopted.
Archbishop Herft has 30 days to assent or dissent to the vote.