RELIGIOUS leaders in the region say the people have spoken, but when it comes to same-sex marriage, they can’t see it happening in their churches.
Church heads in Gunnedah and Tamworth said they welcomed the example of democracy and freedom of speech in action shown in the same-sex marriage vote.
But now they hope their religious freedoms to marry only heterosexual couples will be upheld.
Gunnedah Anglican Church senior minister, Reverend Scott Dunlop, said he’d like other countries’ experience to inform our same-sex marriage law.
“I think it’s important ... that freedom of speech and religious freedoms continue to be upheld in this society,” Reverend Dunlop said.
“I think it’s important that we look to other countries that have already passed this law and … perhaps learn from them.”
Asked whether he could see his church marrying a same-sex couple, he said, “No, I don’t think so.”
“As a Bible-believing Christian minister, I believe that the Bible is clear on this topic and in good conscience, before God, we’d find it very hard.”
Tamworth’s St Nicholas Catholic Church parish priest, Father Joe Adriano, said he would be guided by the directives of his church.
“If a gay couple came in and said, ‘We want to get married’, the current law of the church doesn’t allow me, so I will not do the marriage,” he said.
“If it is not allowed by the church, I am a priest; I will obey what the church says. If it is allowed by the church, I will … I’m a priest and therefore I will obey what my church will tell me to do.”
Father Joe said he was not surprised the result did not align with the church’s view.
“The church, the gospel, the truth of Christ believes marriage is only for a man and a woman. Our people have spoken, and it is not shocking … that what we believe as a church or as a gospel runs contrary to what people think and decide.”
However, Father Joe said “it’s the lifestyle that I reject, but I accept the person”.