Chris BeddingThe Anglican Church in Western Australia has voted to support same-sex relationship recognition legislation, with the motion approved by a majority of over two-thirds.

Reverend Chris Bedding from the Darlington-Bellevue Anglican parish presented the motion to the synod, which included an acknowledgement that legal recognition of same-sex relationships can coexist with legal recognition of heterosexual marriage.

“That had already come last year, it had essentially been vetoed by the Archbishop and it came back this year and the bar was set even higher,” Bedding told the ABC.

“We needed a two-third majority amongst both the clergy and the laity to get it passed… Strangely enough the synod, via quite a convincing majority, [decided] to make that acknowledgement.”

Bedding said they were not yet ready to hold “marriage-like ceremonies” for same-sex couples in Anglican churches, but wanted to support legislative movement towards equality.

He hoped the vote would send a message of generosity and compassion, welcoming people of diverse sexual identities.

Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft now has 30 days to assent to the vote or to overturn it. Herft has previously been considered liberal in his views, and nominated Australia’s first female Anglican bishop in 2008, Kay Goldsworthy.

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