The Ecumenical Catholic Church of Australia has come out strongly in support of both civil and religious same-sex marriage.
In a statement provided to the Star Observer, Archbishop Ronald Langham wrote that following the “historic and courageous” vote on same-sex marriage in New York, “the New York State Catholic Conference stated that the granting of marriage rights to same-sex persons will ‘alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage’.
“They are of course right. Where they err is in the premise that this is a bad thing.
“It is not the position of all Christian churches that same-sex activity or marriage cannot be a life-giving and Holy experience … Science and medicine have long ago settled the question of the ‘normalcy’ of homosexuality.
“The Ecumenical Catholic Church of Australia is one church that does not share the fear of sexuality, intimacy, love and commitment that same-sex couples are able to experience.
“The time for argument on matters such as homosexuality or same-sex marriage is past.
Langham said now was a time for both “action and rejoicing”.
“Action that impels politicians in Australia to join the real world and find some political guts, and rejoicing that celebrates the beauty of same-gender commitment and the desire to express that commitment in the same way as any other couple.
“[S]ame-sex marriage will reinforce the concept of marriage that calls for a lifelong commitment between two people who love and care for each other. If the breakdown of the institution of marriage is to be blamed on anything, it cannot be blamed on the desire of a portion of the community that wishes to share in the ideals of marriage”
The Ecumenical Catholic Church joins other Australian religious denominations including the Metropolitan Community Church, the Unitarians, the Quakers, and Progressive Judaism in going public with their support of same-sex marriage while a number of United Church ministers have also spoken out on the issue.
The Ecumenical Catholic Church is a breakaway church from mainstream Catholicism which does not answer to the Pope, allows female ordination and allows priests to marry.