Some Sydney-based clergy who marched in this year’s 30th anniversary Mardi Gras have had their careers threatened by those who objected to their public participation and support of gay rights.
Some 35 ministers marched, alongside eight people who acted as proxies on behalf of their church’s Reverends, as part of a group known as 100Revs.
The name refers to the 100 Reverends who signed a formal apology to the LGBT community, who they felt have been discriminated and mistreated by the Christian Church in the past.
The procession of marching reverends was greeted to rousing applause by the thousands of spectators.
However, the decision to march was also greeted with some fervent criticism and condemnation from those who saw the participation from the Church as an implicit approval of homosexuality.
According to the Sydney Star Observer an anonymous clergymen who marched in the parade spoke about his career being under threat.
While he stopped short of admitting his job was on the line, he spoke about future repercussions:
“It’s very untalked about,” he said.
“It’s things like the revocation of opportunities for future ministry [positions].
“The conservative side were very upset. I still underestimate the level of political sway they have. I’ve definitely made a few enemies.”
Despite a few vocal opponents to the Reverends’ participation, many lay churchgoers emailed the ministers with words of support.
The decision for some of the apology’s signatories not to participate in the march was viewed as a step too far in the endorsement of the gay and lesbian “lifestyle,” but also felt compelled to apologise as it was viewed as a Christian thing to do.
The annual Gay Lesbian Mardi Gras is the highlight of the Mardi Gras season in Sydney which was launched in February.