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This church is considering stopping all weddings if gays can marry

Sarah Charlton July 6, 2015
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The Presbyterian Church is considering withdrawal from Australia’s Marriage Act if same-sex marriage is given the go ahead.

The New South Wales branch of the Presbyterian Church, the fourth largest religious group in Australia, last week took the decision of asking its national branch to withdraw from the Marriage Act entirely if same-sex marriage is approved in the country.

John McClean, the convenor of the Gospel, Society and Culture Committee of the NSW Presbyterian Church, said that there is a growing gap between the Christian view of marriage and the views of the Australian society.

McClean was asked why it was same-sex marriage and not no-fault divorce or pre-marital sex that had prompted the church to consider refusing to take part in marriage laws.

He said he was not around in 1975 when no-fault divorce was introduced.

“Most people do not think that sex is only for marriage and the vast majority of couples in Australia who marry live together first.” He wrote in an opinion piece for Fairfax Media.

“Many Australians are not convinced that marriage should be for life.” He continued.

McClean also said: “I do think there are a lot of Christian people who see the same-sex marriage issue as the big issue.”

However, he said that if the law changed regarding gay marriage, it would not have any effect on Presbyterians due to them following the teaching of Jesus on marriage rather than secular laws.

He added: “but we would think that leaving the marriage act is a way to make that position as clear as possible.”

If the Presbyterian Church did choose to abandon the Marriage Act, McClean said that it would still continue to celebrate marriage, but only in a way that isn’t recognised by the Australian law.

Related topics: Australia, Australia, gay marriage, Law, LGBT, Presbyterian Church, Same-sex

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