The recent synod meeting of Anglicans in the Perth, WA diocese, held on the weekend of 7 October, voted to endorse same-sex relationships. The motion, supporting the legal acknowledgement of civil unions between people of the same sex, was passed by a two-thirds majority in the clergy and laity groups!
The motion is now before the Archbishop of Perth for his consideration—he has 30 days to support or veto the motion.
The motion was put by the Rector of Darlington-Bellevue Anglican parish, the Reverend Chris Bedding.
Chris Bedding is an activist for the homosexual cause. He is a supporter of same-sex “marriage” and appeared on the ABC’s 7.30 program the week before the motion was put to the synod to promote same-sex “marriage”. The segment high-lighted his work as a comedian and a priest—but focused on his support for same-sex “marriage”.
When asked about his own sexuality by 7.30 he said, ”It’s diverse, it’s deeply personal and quite private.” Last year he told the media he was “celibate and happily single”. He said he often met people who wanted the church to be more “inclusive” and said he wanted to be able to “bless” same-sex relationships.
Chris Bedding was one of the original eight people who were highlighted by the Christians 4 Equality group, which is part of the homosexual activist group Australians for Marriage Equality.
He also signed the “Letter by 77 clergy calling for support for same-sex marriage” that was also organised by Australians for Marriage Equality.
The fact that the motion was put again this year shows that the activists do not give up! They are vigilant—they wear people down, hoping to gradually get more support!
A similar motion was passed by the Perth Anglican synod last year, but it was vetoed by the Archbishop of Perth, Roger Herft.
This year’s motion contained three parts. The first part “recognises diversity in the diocese of Perth, both in terms of sexual identity and theologies of human sexuality.”
The Archbishop, has released a detailed statement on the issue and also spoke to ABC radio in Perth. He said that this first part is ”theologically flawed” and is too open-ended.
Archbishop Herft stated, “Our primary identity and place before God is not sexual. We are sexual beings but this is not the sum total of who we are.”
The Archbishop said that the second part, “notes the support from many within the Anglican Church for committed same-sex couples being able to register their relationships as ‘civil unions’ in Australia”, was fraught with difficulty because civil unions had not been passed by the state government.
The third part of the motion “acknowledges that legal recognition of committed same-sex relationships may coexist with legal recognition of marriage between a man and a woman”. The Archbishop pointed out the legal problems this would cause, because same-sex marriage had not been recognised by federal or state governments. He wrote, “This part of the motion, in the context of the motion as a whole, is likely to have unintended consequences in terms of the Fundamental Declarations of our church regarding the Sacrament of Marriage.”
However, he told the media, that he ”fully supported the sentiments behind the resolution, but supporting it posed complex legal and theological issues”. In his statement he wrote, “In fact, there are gay and lesbian clergy serving in the priesthood. They are licensed by me and are honoured and respected as priests who serve as others do with integrity and holiness.”
David Ould, an Anglican Rector from Sydney who approaches these matters from an “orthodox” perspective, has written an excellent article about the motion and the Archbishop’s response—what it really means and the push by liberals to support such motions. It can be viewed on his website at http://davidould.net/?p=6047
1. WA Anglican Church seeks same sex marriage recognition, Perth Now, 7/10/2013 – http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/wa-anglican-church-seeks-same-sex-marriage-recognition/story-fnhocxo3-1226734237392
2. Perth Anglicans vote to recognise same-sex marriage, ABC, 7/10/2013 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-07/anglicans-in-perth-vote-to-recognise-same-sex-marriages/5002762
3. Archbishop questions gay motion wording, AAP, 8/10/2013 – http://www.news.com.au/national-news/western-australia/archbishop-questions-gay-motion-wording/story-fnii5thn-1226735077384
4. Anglican Archbishop to carefully consider same-sex relationship recognition, ABC 720, 8/10/2013 – http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/10/08/3864869.htm?site=perth
5. Human Sexuality Statement by Anglican Archbishop, 9 October, 2013 – http://www.archbishopofperth.org/index/media/news/2013/statement.html
6. Understanding the Perth Same-Sex Marriage Vote, David Ould – http://davidould.net/?p=6047
7. WA Anglicans recognise same-sex relationships, Star Observer, 8/10/2013 – http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/wa-anglicans-recognise-same-sex-relationships/110669
Jenny Stokes is the highly respected Research Director for Salt Shakers.