Church cancels straight couple’s wedding because bride supports equal marriage
A church in Australia cancelled a straight couple’s wedding because the bride supports same-sex marriage.
The couple, who do not wish to be publicly identified, had been set to marry at Ebenezer St John’s in Ballarat, Victoria in November this year.
However, the 25-year-old bride was stunned when the Presbyterian church abruptly cancelled her long-standing wedding booking.
According to the Brisbane Times, church minister Steve North made the decision after seeing the Bride had posted a message on Facebook in support of same-sex marriage, ahead of a public vote on the issue in Australia.
Even though the couple is heterosexual, North apparently told the bride that he would not officiate her ceremony or permit the marriage to go ahead in his church.
In a letter to the couple, he wrote: “By continuing to officiate it would appear either that I support your views on same-sex marriage or that I am uncaring about this matter. As you know, neither statement is correct.
“Also, if the wedding proceeded in the Ebenezer St John’s church buildings, the same inferences could be drawn about the Presbyterian denomination. Such inferences would be wrong.”
In a response to the pastor, the couple wrote: “We feel this decision is absolutely disgraceful and is a disgrace to you and all the church, especially when we have been loyal and valued members of this congregation for 10 years.
“You were made aware from the beginning of our proceedings that we had gay friends and also that people in our wedding party were gay. How could you assume that we would abandon them or degrade them with regards to same-sex marriage?
“We understand we did agree with the teachings of the church in our marriage counselling but just because we agree with that for our own lives, doesn’t mean that we have to push those beliefs onto others.”
The Presbyterian Church of Victoria told the newspaper the decision was at the discretion of the “individual ministers”, suggesting it would not seek to punish North.
Of course, all gay couples in Australia are currently banned from getting married in all wedding venues, thanks to the country’s ban on same-sex weddings.
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Elsewhere today, a school in Perth infuriated parents by inviting an anti-gay marriage group to ‘teach’ kids about why gay unions are wrong.
Parents at St Brigid’s College in Perth were not informed in advance that their kids would be taking part in the anti-gay marriage session.
A mother at the school said: “The kids came out of the program saying it seemed they were urged to vote no, and they were obviously pretty upset.
“They said they were told about how marriage should be between a man and a woman and why that’s the case, and of course there’s a few girls in the class who are gay, and they said they just felt completely unsupported by their school.
“Why would they come out to the school the week the postal vote was sent out? I don’t believe [it was a coincidence] for a second.”