Sydney Anglicans to ban same-sex weddings and “transgender ideology” at churches

Sydney Anglicans to ban same-sex weddings and “transgender ideology” at churches
Image: Archbishop Davies is unhappy with the Wangaratta diocese decision to bless same-sex married couples

The Anglican Diocese of Sydney is planning a ban on same-sex weddings as well as advocacy for LGBTI causes on church premises.

The Anglican Church has also suggested that the removal of religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws, which allow them to fire LGBTI students and staff, is seen as a “key threat”, according to a report in The Age.

Next week’s Synod of the Sydney Diocese will see a debate over the introduction of a policy to restrict use of church-owned property to “acts or practices which conform to the doctrines, tenets and beliefs of the diocese”.

If introduced, the property policy would prohibit advocacy for “transgender ideology (e.g gender-fluidity)” and “expressions of human sexuality contrary to our doctrine of marriage”.

Local Anglican boards would also be banned from allowing venues like school halls to be used for same-sex weddings or receptions thereof.

“The message is potently clear – no priest or pastor has the right to speak in favour of marriage equality,” said Equal Voices co-chair Joel Hollier.

Hollier, who is a gay Anglican and former pastor, labelled the crackdown a “silencing act”.

“Nor are they able to speak freely to the reality of parishioners experiencing gender dysphoria. Churches that suggest otherwise will face the consequences.”

Author of the policy Michael Stead, Bishop of South Sydney, said that it “doesn’t represent a change in our position and I wouldn’t expect it to have an effect on any activities currently occurring on church trust property.”

“Because the federal government has changed its definition of marriage, the policy makes clear the church’s doctrine of marriage has not changed and that property use scenarios relate only to man/woman marriage.”

Stead’s report suggested that it would be “prudent” to reinforce the Church’s view of marriage to make use of exemptions available to them under New South Wales anti-discrimination law.

Last year, Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies donated $1 million to the No campaign during the marriage equality postal survey, and has previously described same-sex marriage as “unholy matrimony”.

Earlier this week he declared that “Anglican schools in Sydney do not expel students for being gay.”

The highly conservative Archbishop said that leaks of the religious freedom review recommendations are an indication that “the enemies of religious freedom have been hard at work”.

“This week has exposed the hypocrisy of those who, during the same-sex marriage campaign, repeatedly told the Australian public that same-sex marriage would have absolutely no consequences for religious freedom,” he said.

“Now they have revealed what has always been their agenda–to force religious schools to play by secular rules.”

Stead’s report describes the removal of religious institutions’ ‘right to discriminate’ is designed to hinder their ability to maintain “the Christian ethos of our Anglican institutions is in relation to the employment of Christian staff.”

Last week, religious organisations like the Uniting Church and a Brisbane community church spoke out against the Ruddock review recommendation that schools’ ability to discriminate against LGBTI staff and students be further protected by law.

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8 responses to “Sydney Anglicans to ban same-sex weddings and “transgender ideology” at churches”

  1. I thought Christianity was about love does it not say in the bible “love your neighbour as you love yourself “( this implies without discrimanation or reservation does it not ?) to me these church leaders need to look very hard at what they preach the supposed love has turned into hate

  2. I’ve with Geoff – Sydney Anglicans are the 21st century equivalent of the Pharisees and moneylenders in the temple.

  3. they are losers and they miss out on the profits from running the church . more money for my church the uniting church . and same sex weddings will still be around and the Anglican Church misses out . its there problem . no skin off our Noise .

  4. Why should anyone be surprised at anything South Sydney’s Anglican Bishop has to say. He sounds like his mates from both the Catholic and Muslim ideologies ! They all love stirring and adding hate speech !

  5. Just goes to show that these evil old men of religion continue to push their agenda of exclusivity and denial of God’ word of inclusion. If Jesus was alive today I think he would be casting all theses religious zealots out of the house of god. It’s no wonder so many of us turn our backs on religion and all that comes with it. The fact that any gay person would want to get married In a church or hold a reception on church property indicates that despite their sexuality they embrace church doctrines. The fact that these narrow minded Christian’s deny them shows just how far their Christianity goes.

    • Good comment, it’s as if Sydney Anglicans think the parable of the good Samaritan (intended more broadly to warn Christians against rushing to judgement against individuals or groups who are regarded as unpopular or outsiders) was just about Samaritans.

      On the bit about using church halls for wedding receptions, in some country towns etc the church hall is the only community facility which suits that purpose. Many have received taxpayers’ funds for upgrades or renovations over the years. Discriminatory policies should never apply when taxpayers including gay people have funded the upkeep of the building. The Sydney Anglicans are flush with cash though, as their donation proved, they MUST REPAY ALL SUCH FUNDS.

      Or just stop being arseholes.

  6. It is beyond me why so many ‘religious’ people are so obsessed with spreading hate.

  7. As a lapsed Adelaide Anglican, Sydney Anglicans are pretty fucked. I was not surprised by their large donation to the No campaign but I was equally not surprised when a Brisbane bishop slammed that donation. They’re just more fucked up than most Anglicans, pure and simple.

    NSW religion is like NSW politics. It’s a bear pit. It’s far more aggressive and reactionary than what I see happening in Adelaide, where both our religious and political types are inclined to be more centrist and more quietly reflective.