Image for National Faith Leaders Add Support For Marriage Equality As Senate Inquiry Gets Underway

National Faith Leaders AddSupport For Marriage EqualityAs Senate Inquiry GetsUnderway

Following on from last year’s first ever National Faith and Civil Marriage Equality Forum in Canberra, leaders of faith and faith organisations from across Australia have today reasserted their support for marriage equality as the Select Committee on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill prepares for it’s public hearings, starting this morning.

“The leaders from across the country have found a way to support marriage equality not despite their faith but because of it,” said Tiernan Brady, Executive Director of Australians for Equality.

As part of their support the leaders have created a National Joint Statement supporting Civil Marriage Equality, demonstrating that people of faith, many who identify as LGBTI, support civil marriage equality as a matter of faith.

“The values behind marriage equality are the same as those in religion which are about human dignity, love and respect.”

“Most of our faiths are built on the foundation stones of respect, human dignity, the sanctity of the person and social justice. These values do not contradict same-sex marriage, rather they lead us to supporting it,” Mr Brady concluded.

A number of leaders have also offered individual statements of support.

“My support for marriage equality can be simply explained through the Islamic concept of Tauhid, oneness, which brings me to the conclusion that we are all one and equal,” Shiffa Samad from Muslims for Progressive Values said.

“It’s time we in Australian orthodox Jewish communities listen and act to protect our most sacred Torah values of justice, compassion and inclusion by protecting our religious freedom to say ‘yes’ to civil marriage equality,” added Dr Gavriel Ansara from Rosh Pinah, an Affirming Orthodox Jewish Network.

“The Catholic community has a diverse voice many of them support marriage equality, its important for us to remind ourselves that at the heart of the conversation faith and marriage equality are loving relationships and dignity of all people no matter your faith or sexuality,” said Benjamin Oh from Catholics for Equality.

“My christian faith requires me to work towards justice for all people and because the primacy of love in my faith and my life means that I hour all peoples relationships and right to marry,” said Rev Carolyn Francis of the Collins St Baptist Church in Melbourne

“Marriage equality is a basic human right, Islam is a religion that promotes all human rights not some human rights. It will help a lot of young people gain confidence because they are in an environment that says to them that they are wrong and impure, marriage equality will help a lot in the LGBT Muslim community gain confidence,” said Imam Nur Warsame, Australia’s only openly gay Imam.

“The paradox is that people of faith are being both creators and obstructors of change. If you are motivated by love you create change and that is what marriage equality is all about, love,” said Anthony Venn-Brown from Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International.

“I see marriage equality as something I support because of my faith, its a matter of justice and if we are really interested in humans flourishing then we should be enabling the form human expression which is being married to the person you love,” said Rev Dr Peter Catt of the Dean Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane.

“I believe its important for religious voices who support marriage equality to be apart of the conversation and to show our support is not only about justice and human rights but is also grounded in our strong faith in belief and rations,” said Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio of the Emanuel Synagogue in Sydney.

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