A Brisbane priest has joined a new group of Christian same-sex marriage advocates to urge Australians to vote “yes” in the upcoming postal survey.
St John’s Anglican Cathedral Dean Dr Peter Catt (pictured), who is part of a new interdenominational advocacy group called Australian Christians for Marriage Equality, said that extending the availability of marriage would only strengthen society.
“This is a very simple concept that we extend the Marriage Act so that it applies equally to all persons,” Dr Catt said at the launch of the group this week.
“I support marriage equality because God desires that all people are treated with dignity and fairness. Marriage strengthens relationships and gives stability to families.
“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.
“Gender debates in schools and all those other issues are simply being introduced to muddy the water,” he added, referring to the TV advertisement from “No” campaigners released this week attempting to link same-sex marriage with sex education in schools.
Sydney Anglican Reverend Dr Keith Mascord also condemned the ad as “fearmongering”.
“It’s not looking at the substance of the debate. It’s irresponsible and wrong and we abhor it,” he said.
“God wants all people to thrive and that’s what we want and that’s why we support marriage equality.”
Earlier this month, Catholic archbishops warned that staff at Catholic schools and hospitals around the country could face the sack if they were to marry their same-sex partners.
Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart wrote in an open letter released last week: “We sincerely believe that there is a core and fundamental wisdom and truth in the traditional definition and understanding of marriage that should not be ignored and is worth keeping for the health and future of our society.”
More than 500 religious leaders from around the country joined with The Equality Campaign earlier this month to write a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calling for same-sex marriage to be legalised.
Dr Catt was among them, and said at the time: “I see marriage equality as something I support because of my faith.
“It’s a matter of justice and if we’re really interested in humans flourishing then we should be enabling the form of human expression of being married to the person you love.”