A senior Baptist minister says he is worried he will lose his job because he supports same-sex marriage.
Members of the Lilydale Baptist Church will decide at a special meeting this Sunday, November 27 if their pastor Reverend Matt Glover should remain in his position because of his views on marriage equality.
Glover told the Star Observer he is not sure how the vote will end up, but said he was “gutted” he may be pushed out.
“[The church membership is] happy with my work here, my preaching and my care of people struggling, they’re all okay with that, it’s just my option that the Government should recognise gay marriage which is the sticking point,” he said.
A two thirds majority vote of around 100 signed-up church members will be required to end his tenure.
Glover, a married man with two children, has worked with the gay community for 15 years on issues of faith.
“I’ve said the church doesn’t have to recgonise gay marriage, the church doesn’t have to practice gay marriage, but I think the church needs to stand up for the right of gay people to have their relationships, their marriages,
legally recognised by the Government,” he said.
“It’s a burden we’ve felt that there’s a group of people in our community getting isolated and oppressed and having lies said about them… making them look like deviants.
“We’re trying to correct that and stand in the gap between the church and the gay community and help facilitate some discussion. I’ve been trying to get my church to recognise that but it’s been a bit of an uphill battle.”
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) national spokeswoman Shelley Argent said she was disappointed by the move.
“This is a sad day for the “so called” Christian community,” she said.
The meeting will be overseen by the Baptist Union of Victoria.
The BUV has been contacted for comment.
A Galaxy poll released earlier this year found 53 percent of Australians who identify as Christian support same-sex marriage.