Uniting Church to allow ministers the choice on same gender marriage
The Uniting Church in Australia’s triennial assembly has decided to allow ministers freedom to decide whether or not they will conduct marriages between two people of the same gender.
The meeting considered a number of proposals on marriage and same gender relationships.
The proposal allows Uniting Church ministers freedom to conduct or refuse to conduct same gender marriages.
Church Councils will also have the authority to permit of refuse the use of any property held by the congregations for marriage services.
The Uniting Church has a wide range of views on the subject of same gender marriage. The proposal determined that the Church is able to accept this diversity and allow members to act in accordance with their beliefs.
Uniting Church President Deidre Palmer said that the decision, “follows many years of reflection, prayer and discernment, and I want to thank Assembly members for the way they have responded with grace to what is a difficult conversation for many people of faith.”
Dr Palmer acknowledged the ministry and struggle of LGBTIQ people in the Uniting Church over many years.
“I know that this conversation is painful and difficult for you,” said Dr Palmer, directly addressing LGBTIQ Church members.
“We also acknowledge those who for whatever reason have not been able to support this change – and your pain and difficulty in this space.”
“Please rest assured that your rights to follow your beliefs on marriage will be respected and protected.”
The meeting, held in Box Hill Town Hall, has met since Sunday 8 July.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor