Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Hereļæ½s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

'We think it's time' - church gay marriage moves gather pace

By Alan Austin - posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Shifts in churches and synagogues toward accepting gay unions are accelerating.

In On Line Opinion in May it was suggested that the early months of this year saw a change in wind direction towards ecclesiastical reform, after blustery breezes last year.

To extend the metaphor, that wind has definitely picked up since, making scoring shots near impossible for conservatives.

Advertisement

The latest gust is the election of openly gay minister Gary Paterson as moderator of the United Church of Canada this month. The moderator is sort of pope for Canada's largest Protestant denomination.

Dr Paterson's three-year papacy is partly administrative, partly ceremonial, partly pastoral and – a point widely acknowledged – hugely symbolic. He is married to another minister, Tim Stevenson, his partner of thirty years.

Reform within the global Anglican community advanced this month when Bishop Alan Wilson of Buckingham become the most senior Churchman of England to join a movement supporting same-sex marriage.

Out4Marriage is a cross-party and cross-religion campaign now backed by business people, community leaders, celebrities and politicians including deputy PM Nick Clegg.

Wilson joins prominent Anglican Dean of St Albans Jeffrey John in using the stiffening breeze to advantage.

"If you are gay, please don't judge God by the Church," the openly gay Dr John urged. "The official Church doesn't speak with integrity on this issue and so, frankly, doesn't deserve to be listened to."

Advertisement

Officially the Church of England remains opposed to gay unions, as critics of the bishop and the dean were quick to assert.

In contrast, the Episcopal Church in the US has moved to offer blessings to same-sex couples. The US Anglicans accepted the reform by a decisive margin – 282 to 82 – at their June convention in Indianapolis. The 1.9 million-member church is now the largest US religious body supporting same-sex unions.

A shot at goal by New Zealand's six Roman Catholic bishops this month was blown badly off trajectory. In a letter to 'Kiwis of Generation Y' they condemned the proposed Marriage Amendment Bill, claiming it would "re-engineer the status and structure of family life in New Zealand".

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

56 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Alan Austin is an Australian freelance journalist currently based in Nīmes in the South of France. His special interests are overseas development, Indigenous affairs and the interface between the religious communities and secular government. As a freelance writer, Alan has worked for many media outlets over the years and been published in most Australian newspapers. He worked for eight years with ABC Radio and Television’s religious broadcasts unit and seven years with World Vision. His most recent part-time appointment was with the Uniting Church magazine Crosslight.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Alan Austin

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Alan Austin
Article Tools
Comment 56 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy