Darlington-Bellevue clergyman calls for politicians to give Australians marriage equality

Chris Bedding, rector at St  Cuthbert's Church in Darlington-Bellevue says politicians should legalise gay marriage.
Chris Bedding, rector at St Cuthbert's Church in Darlington-Bellevue says politicians should legalise gay marriage.

CLERGYMAN Chris Bedding advocates politicians should do what they were elected to do and pass into law what the majority of Australians want: marriage equality.

The Darlington-Bellevue rector at St Cuthbert’s Church said significant numbers of the church representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and or intersex communities want equal rights on marriage.

“The real issue is how it happens. The proposal for a plebiscite has been blocked once opposed by Australian religious leaders who fear it could unleash aggressive and hurtful language.

“People very willingly demoralise and dehumanise people and there is real concern for the wellbeing of the LGBTI community if there is discourse about their human rights,” he said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this morning announced $122 million will be spent on a voluntary postal vote on same-sex marriage run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Coalition joint party room endorsed a plan for a November 25 plebiscite but if a compulsory plebiscite bill fails as expected, a postal vote with a ballot paper return date of November 7 is the backup option.

A result would likely be declared by November 15 to clear the way for a vote in the final fortnight of Parliament, which starts on November 27.

Mr Bedding joined a peaceful rally of 500 people on Saturday calling on the government to hold a free vote in Parliament on same-sex marriage.

“The view was to have a positive, thoughtful and loving rally, people were singing and chanting and a lot of people stopped to listen,” the Reverend said.

Polling by Reachtell on August 2 showed voters in the Liberal-held seats of Hasluck and Swan want the free vote say campaigners for GetUp! And Equal Love WA.

The electorates chosen for the poll represented electorates where Federal representatives are undeclared on marriage equality and at risk of losing their seats at the next election.

A motion by Mr Bedding to have same-sex relationships recognised by the Anglican Church was passed by the Perth Synod in January 2014.

He said while the motion stopped short of supporting same-sex marriage, it did acknowledge committed same-sex relationships could co-exist with the legal recognition of marriage between a man and a woman.

“If marriage equality was enacted in the future, a same-sex marriage would not be celebrated under the current arrangements,” he said.

“But there is a movement for change, there has been talk for a long time; what may be inconceivable at the moment may be a catalyst for change and we follow countries like Scotland, the US and Canada.”