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(http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2012/03/gay-marriage-this-is-battle-churches.html)
ADVOCATES SAY CHURCH CAMPAIGN AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE WILL BACKFIRE

in AUSTRALIA, 22/06/2012

Marriage equality advocates say the co-ordinated appeal against same-sex marriage from church pulpits this weekend will help their cause and damage the credibility of church leaders.

Australian Marriage Equality national convener, Alex Greenwich, said, "Polls show the majority of Australian Christians support marriage equality, as do many church leaders, and being told from the pulpit that their views are wrong will only strengthen their resolve to see equality prevail."

"In March, despite the Victorian Catholic Bishops distributing 80,000 letters urging parishioners to tell a parliamentary inquiry they oppose marriage equality, the inquiry received 177,000 letters in favour of equality."

"Australians don't take well to bishops and priests who presume to tell us what to think."

Mr Greenwich said federal parliament recently confirmed that churches will not be forced to marry same-sex couples.

"The House of Representatives voted in favour of a motion from Tasmanian independent, Andrew Wilkie, which reassures people of faith they will not have to solemnise or recognise same-sex marriages."

"There couldn't be a clearer message that churches have nothing to fear from this reform."

"We encourage Christians who support marriage equality to write to their federal representatives in support of this important reform."

Catholic, Anglican and Greek Orthodox bishops in NSW have ordered clergy to read out a letter against same-sex marriage during services this Sunday.

It is understood clergy in other churches and in other states will also read out the letter.

Australian Christians support marriage equality for a range of reasons including their belief in justice and compassion for same-sex couples, their support for the religious freedoms of churches that do seek to marry same-sex couples, and their belief that marriage, family and tradition will be strengthened by embracing same-sex couples.

In a recent address to the Synod of the Diocese of Gippsland, the Bishop of Gippsland, the Rt Rev John McIntyre, endorsed marriage equality stating,

"In an age where people are known to be same-sex attracted...is there not an argument that all couples should have access to the institution of marriage, precisely in order to guarantee under law the ongoing protection of children; the good order of society and the rights of those who are in committed life-long relationships?"

For a list of clergy who support marriage equality, click here and here

For the results of the Galaxy research poll showing 53% of Australian Christians support marriage equality, click here.

For more information contact Alex Greenwich on 0421 316 335.

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