Australian Bishop threatens to ban all weddings if same-sex marriage becomes legal
A Bishop has threatened to ban all weddings if same-sex marriage becomes legal.
The extraordinary claim comes from the Anglican Bishop of North West Australia Gary Nelson.
Speaking as the country votes on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to get married, the Bishop made an extraordinary threat.
He claimed that if the vote in favour of equal marriage passes, he would block the registration of any marriages whatsoever in the region – for straight couples too.
Bishop Nelson told The West Australian: “If we are in a situation where there isn’t enough religious exemptions regarding marrying same-sex people, then we’d have to pull out from being celebrants, so just withdraw all the approvals for everyone.”
He falsely claimed: “Even if we withdrew licences and a same-sex couple came in saying, ‘We want to use your building’, and we say no, will we have a right to say no to a use of our building?
“All of those things are still unclear.”
There have been zero incidents anywhere in the world of churches being compelled to host same-sex unions.
Draft backbench laws on the issue in Australia include legal protections for churches that do not wish to perform same-sex unions.
Elsewhere in Australia this week, a Catholic Archbishop claimed that the government needs to “stay out of the bedroom” on same-sex marriage.
The claim comes from the Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher, who has aggressively fought against same-sex marriage in the country.
In a speech, Fisher insisted that government should “keep out of the friendship business and out of the bedroom”.
The claim will be ironic for many given the decades of the Catholic Church’s attempts to regulate people’s bedroom activities – from opposing the use of condoms to condemning ‘disordered’ gay people.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Fisher claimed: “The state has no business telling us who we should love and how, sexually or otherwise.
“The only kind of friendship the state has a proper interest in recognising and regulating is heterosexual marriage, because that’s what leads to children – new citizens – and gives them the best start in life.”
He added: “If overseas experience is anything to go by, if marriage is redefined it will be very hard to speak up for real marriage anymore – in schools, at work, socially,” he said.
“Traditional believers will be vulnerable to discrimination suits and other kinds of bullying for their beliefs. Some may lose their jobs, promotions, businesses, political careers.”
Australia is currently voting on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
The result of the non-binding postal vote will be announced next month, with the issue then set to head to Parliament where MPs will hash out legislation on the issue.
There has been a spate of hate crimes in the country during the vote.
Last month a cafe was threatened with arson for supporting the Yes campaign while a 14 year old girl received a death threat for supporting marriage equality on social media.
PinkNews revealed last month that the anti-LGBT Coalition for Marriage is telling activists to play to fears over gay sex and gender issues.
The group bills itself as a “grassroots movement” that will be on “the front line to defend traditional marriage in Australia”.
At an induction session for Coalition for Marriage activists attended by a PinkNews reporter, the group’s campaign leadership told activists to play up fears over “radical gay sex education” and transgender issues.
More from PinkNews
Three Australian Prime Ministers have been at loggerheads over equal marriage, as anti-gay former PM Tony Abbott viciously mocked former PM Bob Hawke after Hawke criticised the vote called by current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
Tony Abbott has become the most prominent voice of the anti-gay lobby as Australia votes on equal marriage – alienating much of his own family in the process.
After Abbott suggested it would be “best” for his gay sister’s children to be raised by a straight couple, his own daughter Frances spoke out for equality, appearing in a TV ad on the opposing side of the debate to her dad.
The ex-leader has taken his opposition to LGBT rights to surreal extremes, lashing out at “transgender marriage” and demanding censorship of a Macklemore performance over gay anthem ‘Same Love’.
The Equality Campaign last month released a video and image of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, 87, backing the YES campaign for marriage equality.