MORE than 500 religious leaders have sent an open letter to the Prime Minister and government in support of marriage equality as a matter of social justice, calling for the issue to be resolved by a vote in the parliament as the Liberal Party convenes this afternoon to discuss marriage equality.

“Marriage equality is about civil marriage and will have no impact on anyone’s faith, religious institution or sacrament. It is about allowing the state to treat every Australian with equal dignity,” said Tiernan Brady of the Equality Campaign.

“Yesterday’s release of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 allows civil marriage equality to now become a reality whilst continuing to provide religious freedoms. We strongly welcome this bill as the way forward.

“These religious leaders support civil marriage equality because of their faith and values, not despite it. Their letter reflects the will of the majority of people of faith in Australia who want marriage equality to happen.

“They support a change to the legal definition of civil marriage to include all Australians and they urge others of faith to stand up for civil marriage equality as a matter of social justice.

“Like the majority of Australians, they have called on all politicians to show leadership and unite the nation by making civil marriage equality a reality for every Australian.”

Leaders signing the letter come from the Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu communities.

“Marriage equality will provide access to marriage to those who yearn for it, and won’t stop people of faith from framing their lives around their beliefs,” said Reverend Chris Bedding of the Anglican Parish of Darlington–Bellevue.

“Marriage requires constant generosity and sacrifice for another person. I value marriage so highly that I want all couples to be able to experience the level of love that marriage demands.”

Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky of Beit Shalom Synagogue in Adelaide said, “I’ve signed this petition because I believe that all human beings are created in God’s image and so are entitled to the same legal rights.

“It is my privilege to know people in same-sex relationships whose commitment to one another is just as deep and lasting as those in heterosexual relationships.”

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