Christians Supporting Equal Marriage

Christians4EqualityIn 2012, I wrote a blog post about Christian clergy who opposed equal marriage.

Within that diatribe I included a list of churches, pastors, ministers, rabbis, etc who don’t agree that Christians should oppose marriage equality and who are proudly aligning themselves with those of us who think that love should be celebrated and recognised, regardless of gender.

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that including that list of liberal clergy in the same post that catalogues the fundamentalists and kooks inadvertently links the names of those who support marriage equality with those who don’t on a Google search.

So, I have uncoupled that list from the original blog post and I’m placing it here.

On a day when it’s just been announced that the Senate supports the call for a conscience vote on marriage equality , I think it’s very appropriate to remind ourselves that the majority of Australian Christians  (and those of other faiths) are not homophobic. Most Christians support marriage equality, and politicians like Fred Nile, political parties like Family First and Rise Up Australia, and lobby groups like the Australian Christian Lobby represent only a fringe group of right-wing fundamentalists.

So, let’s celebrate the ‘goodies’ as our dearly beloved PM would say!

Back in 2011, the following clergy signed a letter of support for marriage equality. Let’s give them some recognition and a hearty round of applause:

  1. Rev Penny Jones, Anglican Priest, Queensland
  2. Rev Leigh Neighbour, Metropolitan Community Church, Brisbane
  3. Bishop-elect Timothy Mansfield, Apostolic Johannite Church Sydney,
  4. Rev Bill Crews, Uniting Church Sydney
  5. Rev Michael Hercock, Baptist Minister Sydney
  6. Rev Dr Paul Walton, Uniting Church Minister, Queensland
  7. Fr Rod Bower, Anglican Priest, Gosford NSW
  8. Rev Chris Bedding, Anglican Priest, Perth
  9. Rev Steve Thompson, Uniting Church Minister, South Australia
  10. Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky, Adelaide
  11. Rev Eileen Ray, Uniting Church Minister, Victoria
  12. Rev Shane Andersen DD, Senior Pastor, Outreach Ministries Church Fellowship, Sydney
  13. Rev Natasha Darke, Anglican Priest, Adelaide
  14. Rev Julie Leaves, Anglican Priest, Brisbane
  15. Rev Canon Dr Nigel Leaves, St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane
  16. Pastor Karl Hand, Metropolitan Community Church, Sydney
  17. Rev Dr Rowland Croucher, Baptist Minister, Victoria
  18. Rev John Clapton, Anglican Priest, Perth
  19. Rev Boris Kleiner, Church Of the First Creation, Queensland
  20. Rev Roger Munson, St James Uniting Church, Canberra
  21. Rev Dr Jonathan Inkpin, Anglican Rector of the Parish of St Luke, Toowoomba
  22. Rev Susan Pickering, Uniting Church Minister, Brisbane
  23. Rev Jonathan Chambers, Senior Anglican Chaplain, Victoria
  24. Rev Dr Ian Mavor OAM, Uniting Church Minister, Queensland
  25. Fr Thomas Leslie, Anglican Priest, Victoria
  26. Rev Dr Avril Hannah-Jones, Uniting Church Minister, Victoria
  27. Rev Dr Craig de Vos, Uniting Church Minister, South Australia
  28. Rev Tony Johnson, Uniting Church Minister, Victoria
  29. Rev Canon John Fowler, Anglican Priest, Victoria
  30. Rev Andrew Prior, Uniting Church, South Australia
  31. Rev Joan Riley, Anglican Priest, South Australia
  32. Rev Judy Redman, Uniting Church Minister, New South Wales
  33. Rev Murray Fysh, Uniting Church Minister, Queensland
  34. Rev Andrew Eaton, Anglican Priest, Victoria.
  35. Rev Dennis Webster, Anglican Priest, Victoria.
  36. Rev Josie Nottle, Uniting Church Minister, Queensland.
  37. Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, Senior Rabbi, New South Wales.
  38. Rev Tracey Gracey, Anglican Priest, South Australia.
  39. Rev John Maddern, Uniting Church, Past Moderator, South Australia.
  40. Rev Peter Weeks, Uniting Church Minister, Victoria.
  41. Fr Stephen Clark, Anglican Parish Priest, Blackwood, SA
  42. Rev Bruce Stocks, Anglican Priest, Adelaide SA
  43. Rev Caro Field, Uniting Church Minister, Victoria.
  44. Rev Dr Geoffrey D Scott, Uniting Church Minister (ret.), South Australia.
  45. Rev Bill Harris, Deacon, Uniting Church, South Australia.
  46. Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Victoria.
  47. Rev Christine Garner, Uniting Church Minister (ret.), South Australia.
  48. Rev Dr Michael Godfrey, Anglican Priest, Northern Territory.
  49. Rev Leanne Jane Jenski, Uniting Church minister, South Australia.
  50. Rev Susan Wickham, Uniting Church minister, South Australia.
  51. Rev Brendan Byrne, Uniting Church minister, Victoria.
  52. Rabbi Paul Jacobson, New South Wales.
  53. Rev Andrew Mintern, Anglican Priest, South Australia.
  54. Rev Sandy Brodine, Uniting Church minister, Victoria.
  55. Rabbi Jacki Ninio, New South Wales.
  56. Rev Lucas Taylor, Church of Christ minister, Victoria.
  57. Rev Mark J Dunn, Uniting Church minister, Victoria.
  58. Rev Dr Christopher Page, Baptist minister, Victoria.
  59. Wilma Davidson, Clerk, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), ACT.
  60. Pastor Nathan Nettleton, Baptist minister, Victoria.
  61. Rev Narelle Oliver-Braddock, Priest, United Ecumenical Catholic Church, Queensland.
  62. Roy Freeman, Melbourne. (Jewish Community Supporting Marriage Equality)
  63. Rev Ian Hunter, Uniting Church minister, South Australia.
  64. Prof Emeritus Rev Gary D Bouma, Anglican Priest, Victoria.
  65. Shaku Jo’on Gregg Heathcote, Shin Buddhist priest, New South Wales.
  66. Rev Matt Glover, Baptist Minister, Victoria.
  67. Rev Michaela Tiller, Uniting Church minister, South Australia.
  68. Rev Peter McDonald, Uniting Church minister, South Australia.
  69. Rev Don Catford, Uniting Church minister (past Moderator), South Australia.
  70. Rev David Hunnerup, Uniting Church minister, Tasmania.
  71. Rev Tony Duncan, Uniting Church minister, Tasmania.
  72. Rev Colin Gurteen, Uniting Church minister, Tasmania.
  73. Ms Ann Hamblin, Correspondent, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), WA.
  74. Ms Jennifer Hole, Correspondent, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), WA.
  75. Rev Ojitha Goonetilleke, Uniting Church minister, Victoria.
  76. Rev Dr Richard Mallaby, Baptist minister, Victoria.
  77. Rev Nigel Eynon, Universal Life Church minister, Queensland.

The Unitarians, Quakers and Metropolitan Community Church at Granville NSW also support same-sex marriage at a denominational level in Australia, while the Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, Asia and New Zealand put their support for marriage equality on the record in June 2011.

The Victorian Council of Churches, while not necessarily giving blanket support for same-sex marriage has certainly distanced itself from the obsessive homophobia of the Australian Christian Lobby and their ilk.

In Queensland the Very Reverend Peter Catt, the Dean of St John’s Cathedral heads, A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia), set up to provide an alternative to the unrepresentative hate-based agenda of the Australian Christian Lobby.

Similarly, Blackwood Uniting Church minister, Leanne Jenski (with her partner, Rev. Susan Wickham) formed the Christians For Gay Marriage lobby group noting, “Be assured there are many Christians out there who stand in solidarity with us.”

Also to be lauded is Christians 4 Equality. Among others, this group includes broadcaster, Exodus Foundation founder and Ashfield Uniting Church minister Bill Crews and Rowland Croucher of John Mark Ministries, one of the most influential Baptists in Australia.

Standing against the ACL’s homophobic position on gay marriage, Crews wrote:

“Today in Australia we all live in a secular non-discriminatory society. Gay couples should be as free to marry as any other human couple. If people wish to be married within a religious or spiritual institution’s framework then they should accept the rites and rules of that institution. However it is the state that legitimises all marriages.”

Similarly, Croucher says:

“How can I, a heterosexual who’s been very happily married for 50 years, tell anyone else they don’t have the right to form a loving, committed, lifelong union and enjoy the fruits of marriage as I have done? Marriage is not a club to be restricted to some – like the Gospel, it is a blessing to be shared.”

Amen! – or Ramen! – whatever floats your boat!

Chrys Stevenson

5 thoughts on “Christians Supporting Equal Marriage

  1. Pingback: Your Handy Neighbourhood Guide to Bigots and Homophobes | Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear

  2. Matt Martin

    Hey Chris, most (if not all) of the same sex marriage bills floating around Canberra contain exemptions for religious organisations and celebrants allowing them to refuse to marry couples of similar genital configuration.

    What’s your view of this?

    Reply
  3. palmboy

    Very timely article Chris – as Catholic, Anglican and Uniting church clergy and parishioners have just held forums inside churches, stating their support for marriage equality.(this is real Clergy and real Churches – unlike the Australian so-called Christian Lobby)

    A media release is here – note that “some heads of churches” also attended a preliminary discussion night on marriage equality.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByUHzRTDFvIFam03aExjWlVzejhZM2hyWXhlRU9qYkJSbmxz/view

    Here is an article written from the media release http://gaynewsnetwork.com.au/news/forum-for-equality-brings-progressive-christians-together-17014.html

    Reply

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