A church in Melbourne has backed marriage equality and said that it wants to be the first church in the country to marry a same-sex couple.
St Michael’s Uniting Church posted photos to its Facebook of a large rainbow sign they’ve put outside reading “MARRIAGE EQUALITY YES”.
The church’s executive minister Reverend Ric Holland (pictured) said: “I want St Michael’s to be the first church to legally marry same-sex couples in Australia. Marriage equality is important as it is simply natural justice for all people to be treated equally.
“The Church in Australia should be standing up for this human right loud and clear. St Michael’s is an inclusive congregation, accepting and welcoming people of all faiths, cultures, and sexuality.”
Reverend Holland said he’s been encouraging those attending the church’s Sunday services to be “a loud voice in the field of social justice, which includes in no small part marriage equality.”
He said the discrimination and marginalisation of the LGBTI population lead to an increase in mental health problems and that Jesus Christ took a “firm stand” for equality in his teachings.
“It is the churches’ task to stand up for people who are marginalised; to be constructive rather than destructive and to break down barriers rather than build walls,” he said.
This week, 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.
“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,” Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart wrote in an open letter released on Thursday.
Earlier this month, more than 500 religious leaders from around the country joined with The Equality Campaign to write a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calling for same-sex marriage to be legalised.
Among the leaders was Reverend Dr Peter Catt from Brisbane’s St Johns Anglican Cathedral, who said: “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.”