Over 100 congregants of the Metropolitan Community Church in South Brisbane have voted to oppose the federal government’s proposed plebiscite on marriage equality.
Pastor David Coltheart (pictured, left) has written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other politicians to express the church’s views on the planned public vote on behalf of the churchgoers, the majority of whom identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer.
“Last Sunday [August 14] the congregation voted to express our unequivocal opposition to the proposed plebiscite on same-sex marriage. We do not think a plebiscite is a just or fair method to determine our civil rights,” he wrote in the letter.
“The proposed plebiscite is both expensive and unnecessary, and the campaign leading up to the vote will do incalculable damage to individuals within the LGBTIQ community.”
The Metropolitan Community Church has long promoted marriage equality and has been conducting celebrations for same-sex Christian couples for over 40 years.
David said the proposed plebiscite campaign will give licence to organisations and individuals “to launch unprecedented attacks on our character, morals and identity,” including homophobic slurs and hate speech.
“If necessary, we would rather abandon plans for marriage equality during this Parliament and wait until a parliamentary vote is taken in the future,” he wrote.
“We urge you and your government to abandon plans for the proposed plebiscite and instead adopt a fairer and less expensive method of obtaining the end result.
“The gay and lesbian Christians I represent do not want to be subjected to this divisive and destructive process that in the end may not achieve the desired result.”
Attorney-General George Brandis said in late July the plebiscite was the “only way” forward for marriage equality, and the would be held before the end of this year or early next year.
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) recently released polling that suggests public support for the plebiscite is dropping.