Australian's for Marriage Equality have launched a provocative new website aimed at highlighting support for same-sex marriage within the Christian community.
The new 'Christians4equality' website has failed to secure support from any denomination, however a handful of Christian leaders are behind the campaign, including prominent social justice campaigner and 2GB radio presenter Rev Bill Crews.
The new campaign was launched as Parliament delayed debate in the house on same-sex marriage until August 24.
"Today in Australia we all live in a secular non discriminatory society," said Rev Crews.
"Churches and other spiritual institutions exist within this society. It seems to me that in a secular and non-discriminatory society gay couples should be as free to marry as any other human couple.
"If people wish to be married within a religious or spiritual institution's framework then they should accept the rites and rules of that institution. However it is the state that legitimises all marriages," he said.
The campaign has found support across a wide range of clergy including Anglican, Baptist and Uniting Church ministers.
Another minister to join the campaign is the Sydney based Baptist Minister Rev Rowland Croucher who asserts marriage isn't a 'club to be restricted'.
"How can I, a heterosexual who's been very happily married for 50 years, tell anyone else they don't have the right to form a loving, committed, lifelong union and enjoy the fruits of marriage as I have done? Marriage is not a club to be restricted to some. Like the Gospel, it is a blessing to be shared."
However, it appears the Christians4equality campaign has not been successful in securing the support of any denomination, or even more than a handful of ministers.
In a recent statement in response to a Victorian Baptist Minister who went on national television to declare his support for same-sex marriage, the Australian Baptists adamantly rejected any changes to the definition of marriage.
"In November 2010 Australian Baptist Ministries reaffirmed marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and has commended the Australian Government for reflecting the biblical teaching on marriage in the Federal Marriage Act. Marriage is not the appropriate institution for same sex couples," said the Australian Baptists.
"Australian Baptist Ministries supports the rights of all couples to justice with respect to property and like entitlements and acknowledges that people, including some in Baptist churches, face difficult issues with respect to sexuality. Recognition of such rights and difficulties does not justify major changes to our convictions about marriage or to marriage legislation.
"The Baptist World Alliance, representing over 47 million baptised believers and 210 Baptist Unions and Conventions in more than 200 countries, shares the views of Australian Baptist Ministries on marriage. The Baptist World Alliance views homosexual lifestyle as incompatible with the teachings of Scripture and no BWA member body affirms, promotes or approves of same sex marriage."
Same-sex marriage movement targeting Christians with new website
Published 18 August 2011 | Clayton Hinds