Archive for the ‘Gay Marriage’ Category

Britain’s first same-sex marriage celebrated in a Scottish church … – Deseret News

LONDON The first gay marriage in an Anglican church in Britain took place this week, a day after Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described the continuing squabbles over same-sex marriage in the worldwide Anglican Communion as intractable.

The gay couple, known as Mark and Rick, had their order of service posted on Facebook, which told people that they were married on Tuesday (Aug. 1) at a service that included the Eucharist at St. Johns Episcopal Church in the center of Edinburgh. The Rev. Markus Dnzkofer, rector of St. Johns, a church of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, officiated.

The wedding was a small intimate occasion, said Dnzkofer. The couple, he said, were Americans with Scottish connections who had been together 24 years.

This was not some pretty, fancy occasion, he said. They wanted a religious ceremony and they wanted it to be a nuptial Mass.

In June, the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, announced that it was allowing gay weddings after its synod voted to amend its canon law on marriage. The change was made when the synod agreed the law stating that marriage was between one man and one woman should be removed.

Anglican national churches in Brazil, South Africa, South India, New Zealand and Canada have taken steps toward approving and celebrating same-sex relationships amid strong resistance among other national churches within the 80 million-member global body. The Episcopal Church in the U.S. has allowed gay marriage since 2015.

The Scottish vote sparked a backlash from traditionalists in the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON. The group responded by announcing it had appointed a missionary bishop to Scotland to offer alternative leadership for traditionalist Anglicans opposed to the synods decision.

Welby, speaking to the BBC from Africa where he has been traveling, was asked if the Anglican Communions rift over homosexuality might worsen, given that the communions center of growth is on that continent, where traditional views on marriage hold sway.

The archbishop answered: Its an intractable problem. This is more complex than having a binary approach. There is not an easy fix, but the primates (of the Anglican Communion) have said that they will work together.

But the situation in Scotland will make the archbishop of Canterburys task in keeping the Anglican Communion together much more difficult.

Since the vote in June, at least nine Scottish Episcopal Church clergy have registered to officiate at same-sex weddings. The first to sign up was the Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, the provost of St Marys Cathedral in Glasgow.

Holdsworth, a leading figure in the Changing Attitude Scotland campaign, said that people in Scotland have changed their minds on gay marriage and now support it.

The congregation has been hugely supportive. There were loud cheers in church when I announced that bookings for weddings were now open to all couples, when I received permission to do this a couple of weeks ago, Holdsworth said. Several members of the congregation were wearing badges saying, The Archbishop of Canterbury has no jurisdiction in this realm of Scotland.

St. Johns Church in Edinburgh first announced that it would offer the rite of marriage beginning in July. Dnzkofer said that there had been dialogue throughout the Scottish Episcopal Church about human sexuality and same-sex marriage.

It has been easier than in the Church of England, he said. We are a smaller church, we are not the established church and there is less of an evangelical voice. But we heard different perspectives and heard very different voices.

Dnzkofer estimated about 80 percent of his congregation approved the change in doctrine. St Johns website reflects these varying opinions, with an apology for the deep pain the church caused to LGBTQ people and their families. (W)e asked for forgiveness for our resistance to proclaiming the love of God more courageously. We have failed.

But it also says that it recognizes that the radical move by the Scottish Episcopal Church will be difficult for some people. We also have failed in loving more generously and embracing more compassionately those who disagree with recent developments in church and state. For this we are sorry, too.

The proximity of Scotland to the Church of England will make the situation particularly difficult for Welby. Although they have only an estimated 100,000 members, the impact of gay weddings in its Scottish Episcopal churches will be significant, according to Simon Sarmiento, of the website, Thinking Anglicans.

Gay Anglicans in England will be able to travel to Scotland to get married, putting more pressure on the Church of England, he said.

Within the Church of England there are deeply divergent views on gays, and at the most recent General Synod, a bishops report advocating no change in the churchs stance on the blessing of gay partnerships or the conducting of gay marriages was narrowly rejected.

Since then a Pastoral Advisory Group has been set up and chaired by Bishop of Newcastle Christine Hardman to support and advise dioceses on pastoral approaches to human sexuality.

Holdsworth said Welby is wrong to say the problem is intractable and urged him to speak to gay people who want to help come up with solutions.

If Justin Welby wants to hear from passionate Anglicans with lots of ideas about how to solve these troubles then one of the things he needs to do is to speak to the people concerned. LGBT people from around the communion would be willing to meet him to help find solutions, Holdsworth said. The last time an international meeting of LGBT activists was invited to meet with a senior leader from the Anglican Communion was in 2005.

(Catherine Pepinster is a London-based correspondent)

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Britain’s first same-sex marriage celebrated in a Scottish church … – Deseret News

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Irish PM: ‘Matter of time’ for N. Ireland and gay marriage – ABC News

Ireland’s prime minister says it is “only a matter of time” before same-sex marriage is legalized in Northern Ireland the only part of the United Kingdom where it still is banned.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s first openly gay leader, made the comments at a gay pride event on Saturday in Belfast.

Northern Ireland remains the only part of the British Isles where same-sex marriages are not allowed. A 2015 voter referendum legalized them in the republic of Ireland.

The issue has been one of the sticking points preventing the restoration of the Catholic-Protestant power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.

The Democratic Unionists, Northern Ireland’s biggest British Protestant party and a key partner to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, has opposed same-sex marriage.

The Catholic nationalist Sinn Fein supports it.

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First same-sex wedding deepens Anglican divide – The Guardian

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and his Ugandan counterpart, the Rev Stanley Ntagali, arrive at a camp in Uganda to visit South Sudanese refugees. Photograph: James Akena/Reuters

The first gay Anglican wedding in Britain took place last week, just a day after the archbishop of Canterbury said the continuing row in the Anglican Communion over same-sex relationships was an intractable problem.

The couple, known as Mark and Rick, got married on Tuesday at a Eucharist service where the Rev Markus Dunzkofer, of the Scottish Episcopal church, officiated. Dunzkofer, rector of St Johns, in Princes Street, Edinburgh, said history was made at the wedding, held in the chapel of a Dalhousie hotel.

Mark and Rick had been together 24 years, he said, and were keen to have a service with holy communion. The couple are from the US, but with strong Scottish connections. A copy of their order of service, posted on Facebook, described the wedding as the solemnisation of marriage with the celebration of holy communion.

It was a small, intimate occasion, said Dunzkofer. This was not some pretty, fancy occasion. They wanted a religious ceremony.

Mark and Ricks marriage is the first in the Scottish Episcopal church, which is part of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal church announced in June that it was allowing gay weddings after its synod voted to amend canon law on marriage. It agreed that the doctrine stating that marriage was between one man and one woman should be removed.

The vote sparked a backlash from traditionalists, with the conservative Anglican group Gafcon announcing that it was appointing a missionary bishop, committed to keeping marriage heterosexual, to work in Scotland.

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has struggled to keep the worldwide Anglican Communion together over the issue of same-sex relationships, with many African bishops voicing opposition to gay weddings and to clergy being involved in gay relationships themselves.

Welby visited Africa to highlight the plight of refugees but his trip highlighted divisions over same-sex marriage. During the trip, he spent time with the archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, a leading conservative evangelical, who walked out of a gathering of archbishops in Canterbury last year, angered by the wests liberal attitudes to homosexuality. Ntagali said that he would not return until godly order was restored.

Since then, Canadian and Scottish Anglicans have voted for same-sex marriage; the Americans also accept it.

In an interview with Radio 4s Today programme, Welby said that the dispute over homosexuality between the growing church in Africa and the west was an intractable problem. This is more complex than having a binary approach, he said. There is not an easy fix, but the primates [of the Anglican Communion] have said that they will work together.

But the situation in Scotland will make the archbishop of Canterburys task in keeping the Anglican Communion together much more difficult.

Simon Sarmiento, of the website Thinking Anglicans, said: The Scottish Episcopal church is small in numbers but this will undoubtedly have an impact. It brings this issue that much closer. Gay Anglicans in England will be able to travel to Scotland to get married, putting more pressure on the Church ofEngland.

The Scottish church, which has around 100,000 members, voted for gay marriage after years of debate at diocesan and church level. Dunzkofer said that about 80% of his congregation supported the move to allow gay weddings and there had been long discussions. It has been easier than in the Church of England. We are a smaller church, we are not the established church and there is less of an evangelical voice, he said. But we heard different perspectives and heard very different voices.

Since the vote in June, at least nine Scottish Episcopal Church clergy have registered to officiate at same-sex weddings. The first to sign up was the Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, the provost of St Marys Cathedral in Glasgow. There were loud cheers in church when when I received permission to do this a couple of weeks ago, said Holdsworth. Several members of the congregation were wearing badges saying, The Archbishop of Canterbury has no jurisdiction in this realm of Scotland.

In recent weeks politicians have also piled pressure on the Church of England. Theresa May said she had changed her own mind on gay weddings over the years and the church should reflect on its ban. The equalities minister, Justine Greening, also said that the Church of England must keep up with the modern world by allowing gay weddings. And in Scotland, Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who is gay and a member of the Church of Scotland, has often spoken of her support for gay marriage.

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Special Coalition party room meeting to tackle gay marriage – SBS

A private members’ bill, supported by Dean Smith, Trent Zimmerman, Warren Entsch, Trevor Evans and Tim Wilson, has been circulated ahead of a special party room meeting on the issue in Canberra on Monday afternoon.

The legislation would allow two people to marry regardless of their sex or gender.

It also would protect all religious ministers and civil celebrants from legal action if they refuse to marry same-sex couples, and covers service providers – such as bakers, florists and photographers – if they can prove their business is linked to a religious body.

Dean Smith told the ABC, the move should not be seen as threat to the leadership of the Prime Minister or the government.

“Every difficult issue does not need to be seen through the prism of leadership. This is a test for each and every member of the parliamentary Liberal party first and foremost. It is a respectful place the party room,” Mr Smith said.

“People come with their points of view. They do show courtesy to each other. There is an expectation that people come and put their best foot forward and make the most convincing argument that they can. This does not have to be seen through the prism of leadership. I actually think that is a distraction.”

Crossbench senator Nick Xenophon, who helped shoot down the plebiscite late last year, said the Smith bill seemed a sensible way forward and he would support it if it got up in the Senate.

Liberal front-bencher Craig Laundy doesn’t support the private member’s bill.

He says the Turnbull government must stand by its pledge to hold a plebiscite on gay marriage.

Mr Laundy has told the ABC, there could be backlash from voters if the government walks away from its election promise.

He says the Turnbull government must stand by its pledge to hold a plebiscite on gay marriage.

Mr Laundy has told the ABC, there could be backlash from voters if the government walks away from its election promise.

“I will be when I get into the party room explaining that in the current political environment governments that turn their back on policies they have taken and commitments they have taken to an election, there is a not too distant recent history of that being viewed dimly by those in the electorate.”

Gay marriage campaigners have welcomed Liberal senator Dean Smith’s private member’s bill calling it strong and robust.

Australian Marriage Equality co-chair Alex Greenwich welcomed the bill as the strongest yet on the issue.

“It’s a strong bill. It’s a bill which is designed to allow same sex couples access to civil marriage, while respecting the religious protection of marriage. So this is a bill which we hope will gain support, not only from the government partyroom, but indeed from the entire parliament.”

The bill outlines the creation of a new category of “religious marriage celebrants” who can refuse to officiate a gay marriage ceremony, without the fear of being taken to court for discrimination.

Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, Anna Brown, says the new category gets the balance between religious freedom and marriage equality.

“Same sex couples will have the dignity and the certainty of knowing when they go to a civil marriage celebrant, they will be not refused service, so this is about protecting civil marriage and not allowing civil discrimination in civil marriage.

“But whilst also protecting religious freedom. So civil marriage will allow same-sex couples and religious marriage will be protected.”

Another alternative being considered is a postal vote.

Senator Smith labelled a postal vote an even worse idea.

Marriage equality advocates have promised to launch a High Court challenge if the idea gets up based on legal advice that the government would need specific legislation to hold a postal vote on the issue and allocate sufficient funds.

Rainbow Families spokeswoman Felicity Marlowe has called for the postal plebiscite vote not to go ahead.

But she’s told SBS World News change must happen and is long overdue.

“For so many Rainbow Families, their children have been waiting a long time to see their mums or dads walk down the aisle and say ‘I love you’,” she said.

“They know their parents are committed to each other and they know that love makes a family but there’s just something about the ceremony and celebration of a marriage that’s particularly special. It would be a fantastic day for children in rainbow families when finally they can see their parents married.”

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Special Coalition party room meeting to tackle gay marriage – SBS

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Irish PM: ‘Matter of time’ for N. Ireland and gay marriage – New Haven Register

Photo: Peter Morrison, AP

Irish PM: ‘Matter of time’ for N. Ireland and gay marriage

LONDON (AP) Ireland’s prime minister says it is “only a matter of time” before same-sex marriage is legalized in Northern Ireland the only part of the United Kingdom where it still is banned.

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s first openly gay leader, made the comments at a gay pride event on Saturday in Belfast.

Northern Ireland remains the only part of the British Isles where same-sex marriages are not allowed. A 2015 voter referendum legalized them in the republic of Ireland.

The issue has been one of the sticking points preventing the restoration of the Catholic-Protestant power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.

The Democratic Unionists, Northern Ireland’s biggest British Protestant party and a key partner to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, has opposed same-sex marriage.

The Catholic nationalist Sinn Fein supports it.

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Irish PM: ‘Matter of time’ for N. Ireland and gay marriage – New Haven Register

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Britain’s first Anglican same-sex marriage celebrated in a Scottish … – Religion News Service

Anglican Communion By Catherine Pepinster | 23 hours ago

St. Johns Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Jan Brnemann

LONDON (RNS) The first gay marriage in an Anglican church in Britain took place this week, aday after Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described the continuing squabbles over same-sex marriage in the worldwide Anglican Communion as intractable.

The Rev. Markus Dnzkofer of St. Johns Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The gay couple, known as Mark and Rick, had their order of service posted on Facebook, which told people that they were married on Tuesday (Aug. 1) at a service that included the Eucharist at St. Johns Episcopal Church in the center of Edinburgh. The Rev. Markus Dnzkofer, rector of St. Johns, a church of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, officiated.

The wedding was a small intimate occasion, said Dnzkofer. The couple, he said, were Americans with Scottish connections who had been together 24 years.

This was not some pretty, fancy occasion, he said. They wanted a religious ceremony and they wanted it to be a nuptial Mass.

In June, the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, announced that it was allowing gay weddings after its synod voted to amend its canon law on marriage. The change was made when the synod agreed the law stating that marriage was between one man and one woman should be removed.

Anglican national churches in Brazil, South Africa, South India, New Zealand and Canada have taken steps toward approving and celebrating same-sex relationships amid strong resistance among other national churches within the 80 million-member global body. The Episcopal Church in the U.S. has allowed gay marriage since 2015.

The Scottish vote sparked a backlash from traditionalists in the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON. The group responded by announcing it had appointed a missionary bishop to Scotland to offer alternative leadership for traditionalist Anglicans opposed to the synods decision.

Welby, speaking to the BBC from Africa where he has been traveling, was asked if the Anglican Communions rift over homosexuality might worsen, given that the communions center of growth is on that continent, where traditional views on marriage hold sway.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, after his enthronement ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral, in Canterbury, southern England, on March 21, 2013. Photo by Luke MacGregor/Reuters

The archbishop answered: Its an intractable problem. This is more complex than having a binary approach. There is not an easy fix, but the primates (of the Anglican Communion) have said that they will work together.

But the situation in Scotland will make the archbishop of Canterburys task in keeping the Anglican Communion together much more difficult.

Since the vote in June, at least nine Scottish Episcopal Church clergy have registered to officiate at same-sex weddings. The first to sign up was the Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, the provost of St Marys Cathedral in Glasgow.

Holdsworth, a leading figure in the Changing Attitude Scotland campaign, said that people in Scotland have changed their minds on gay marriage and now support it.

The congregation has been hugely supportive. There were loud cheers in church when I announced that bookings for weddings were now open to all couples, when I received permission to do this a couple of weeks ago, Holdsworth said. Several members of the congregation were wearing badges saying, The Archbishop of Canterbury has no jurisdiction in this realm of Scotland.

St. Johns Church in Edinburgh first announced that it would offer the rite of marriage beginning in July. Dnzkofer said that there had been dialogue throughout the Scottish Episcopal Church about human sexuality and same-sex marriage.

St. Johns Episcopal Church, left, in Edinburgh, Scotland, with Edinburgh Caste in the background. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/The Rev. Lawrence Lew

It has been easier than in the Church of England, he said. We are a smaller church, we are not the established church and there is less of an evangelical voice. But we heard different perspectives and heard very different voices.

Dnzkofer estimated about 80 percent of his congregation approved the change in doctrine. St Johns website reflects these varying opinions, with an apology for the deep pain the church caused to LGBTQ people and their families. (W)e asked for forgiveness for our resistance to proclaiming the love of God more courageously. We have failed.

But it also says that it recognizes that the radical move by the Scottish Episcopal Church will be difficult for some people. We also have failed in loving more generously and embracing more compassionately those who disagree with recent developments in church and state. For this we are sorry, too.

The proximity of Scotland to the Church of England will make the situation particularly difficult for Welby. Although they have only an estimated 100,000 members, the impact of gay weddings in its Scottish Episcopal churches will be significant, according to Simon Sarmiento, of the website, Thinking Anglicans.

Gay Anglicans in England will be able to travel to Scotland to get married, putting more pressure on the Church of England, he said.

Within the Church of England there are deeply divergent views on gays, and at the most recent General Synod, a bishops report advocating no change in the churchs stance on the blessing of gay partnerships or the conducting of gay marriages was narrowly rejected.

Since then a Pastoral Advisory Group has been set up and chaired by Bishop of Newcastle Christine Hardman to support and advise dioceses on pastoral approaches to human sexuality.

Holdsworth said Welby is wrong to say the problem is intractable and urged him to speak to gay people who want to help come up with solutions.

If Justin Welby wants to hear from passionate Anglicans with lots of ideas about how to solve these troubles then one of the things he needs to do is to speak to the people concerned. LGBT people from around the communion would be willing to meet him to help find solutions, Holdsworth said. The last time an international meeting of LGBT activists was invited to meet with a senior leader from the Anglican Communion was in 2005.

(Catherine Pepinster is a London-based correspondent)

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Liberals plot path forward on gay marriage – 9news.com.au

New polling figures and a United Nations ruling highlight some of the key issues confronting Liberal MPs as they prepare to plot a path forward on same-sex marriage.

The Liberals will hold a special partyroom meeting in Canberra on Monday to debate whether to hold a plebiscite, postal or parliamentary vote before changing marriage laws.

Polling released days out from the meeting shows a majority of voters in six seats held by Liberal MPs – whose positions on marriage equality are undeclared – support same-sex marriage and a free vote in parliament.

However Liberal voters in each electorate were significantly less inclined to believe same-sex couples should be able to wed or that the government should resolve the issue through a free parliamentary vote.

The ReachTel poll commissioned by activist group GetUp examined the views of voters in six seats across Queensland and Western Australia.

More than 50 per cent of respondents in five of the six electorates supported same-sex marriage.

In Sterling, a metropolitan Perth seat held by Justice Minister Michael Keenan, 48 per cent supported gay marriage, with 42 per cent opposed and 10 per cent undecided.

A majority of voters in each electorate believed the government should hold a free vote in parliament as soon as possible.

Liberal voters were far less likely to support marriage equality and were generally split over holding a free parliamentary vote.

GetUp is urging the six Liberal MPs – Mr Keenan, Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, Assistant Health Minister Jane Prentice, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt and backbenchers Steve Irons and Ben Morton – to back a free vote.

Respondents were not asked about holding a same-sex marriage plebiscite.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has found Australian laws barring same-sex couples who married overseas from getting divorced violate international obligations.

The UN Human Rights Committee ruled an Australian woman has been denied equal protection of the law because Australia does not allow her to end a legal Canadian same-sex marriage.

The case was taken to the UN by Fiona Kumari Campbell, who travelled to Canada to marry her ex-partner in 2004 before the couple separated later that year.

As same-sex marriage is not legal in Australia, Dr Campbell’s marriage is not officially recognised and therefore cannot be subject to divorce proceedings.

She cannot get divorced in Canada either because she did not live there for at least a year.

The UN found the differential treatment Dr Campbell was subjected to regarding divorce proceedings was discriminatory.

“This is another nail in the coffin of Australia’s prohibition on marriage equality,” Dr Campbell said afterwards.

Ahead of Monday’s meeting, federal cabinet has reaffirmed support for a national vote to decide on same-sex marriage.

However Western Australian Liberal MP Dean Smith describes the plebiscite as a “tool for delay” and says the time has come for a parliamentary vote.

AAP 2017

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Same-sex marriage: going postal the best solution for plebiscite – The Sydney Morning Herald

We are in the strange situation that gay and lesbian Americans enjoy greater equality under Donald Trump than gay and lesbian Australians do under Malcolm Turnbull.

Trump may be famously bigoted in his treatment of women as objects, Muslims and Mexicans as terrorists and rapists, and transgender people as unfit for military service.

But, thanks to the US Supreme Court, same-sex marriage is a reality in America.

Turnbull may have spent 30 years developing his political persona as a progressive, campaigning for a republic, negotiating a carbon emissions trading scheme and championing marriage equality.

But, thanks to the Faustian bargain he struck to seize the leadership, same-sex marriage remains elusive in Australia.

Monday is Turnbull’s opportunity to fix this anomaly. Mishandled, it is his invitation to oblivion.

There is a plan gathering force inside the government. It’s a compromise. It would not please the advocates who want same-sex marriage delivered immediately. Nor would it please the conservatives who want to preserve the status quo at all costs.

It’s the idea of a national plebiscite, conducted by post. While this would leave unhappiness on both sides, it is a pragmatic option. It would offer some progress on the underlying issue while allowing Turnbull to keep his job and keep the government in office.

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Much media attention has focused on the fact that the ruling Liberal Party’s federal MPs and senators will meet on Monday afternoon for a special meeting to debate the same-sex marriage question.

It will. But that’s the second arena in which this will be fought. Before it goes to the wider party room, it is scheduled to go before the Turnbull cabinet, which will meet earlier on Monday, and this is where the government’s position is to be decided.

The cabinet meeting is taking shape as a contest between the author of the postal plebiscite compromise, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, and the advocate for an immediate parliamentary vote to allow gay marriage, Attorney-General George Brandis.

Illustration: Jim Pavlidis.

This would allow Turnbull to play chairman and to pronounce the final decision once everyone around the cabinet table has been heard.

Dutton has been actively building support for the postal plebiscite among his colleagues. It already has won the grudging support of key moderates in the cabinet as the least worst option. Turnbull has not said so publicly but it’s an outcome that he would embrace. But it will nonetheless be a hard-fought cabinet debate.

The government has commissioned legal advice on the option of a postal plebiscite. Some ministers have seen it already. This advice makes plain that a postal plebiscite would be vulnerable to a High Court challenge, as a number of academic experts on constitutional law have been saying publicly all week.

The answer to this from Dutton and his supporters? That’s OK. The High Court would be expected to hear the case expeditiously. If it allowed the plebiscite to proceed, the government could probably carry it out by the end of the year. It doesn’t need any legislative approvals and the funding authority already exists, so Labor and the Greens couldn’t block it.

The plebiscite would inevitably endorse same-sex marriage. Turnbull would have kept his pledge to maintain the Abbott policy. He would have kept faith with the party. And same-sex marriage would quickly be endorsed by the government and legislated by the Parliament. The issue would be off the agenda by the time of the next election.

But if the High Court were to strike it down? The Dutton argument is that that’s OK, too. Turnbull would have made every effort to fulfil his pledge of a plebiscite. He will have kept faith with his party.

In the first instance, he’s been frustrated by Labor and the Greens in the Senate in his effort to hold a go-out-on-a-Saturday-and-cast-a-vote plebiscite. On the second, he would’ve been blocked by the High Court in his bid for a postal plebiscite. He would then be liberated to take the question it to a free parliamentary vote.

Whether the government were to win or lose in the High Court, legalised same-sex marriage would be the result. “A postal plebiscite could be a workable compromise because people with competing views could settle on it as a way forward,” says a moderate cabinet minister. “Because there is a significant lack of willingness to make any effort at give and take on this on either side.”

Brandis can be expected to argue that a postal plebiscite is not only constitutionally dubious, it’s also politically dubious. Why? If the postal vote were boycotted by the gay marriage lobby, and if younger voters lacked the interest to mail their ballot papers, the participation rate could be low, below 50 per cent.

If that were to happen, the plebiscite could be dismissed as a farce, runs the argument. The same-sex marriage lobby would be undeterred and press on, agitating within the Liberal Party, continuing to destabilise. Labor would make it an issue at the next election. And the government would look like incompetent dills as well as homophobic bigots.

The counter-argument is that a low turnout rate wouldn’t matter many countries routinely elect governments with voter turnouts of 30 or 40 or 50 per cent. Their legitimacy isn’t questioned. French president Emmanuel Macron was elected on a turnout of 38 per cent, for instance.

The cabinet debate will be further freighted by the political ambitions of the protagonists. Brandis is approaching the sunset of his time in the cabinet. He wants a decisive victory on same-sex marriage as his culminating career trophy on a matter that is dear to the moderate wing of the Liberal Party.

Besides, Brandis lost his last contest with Dutton. Brandis opposed the creation of a Home Affairs ministry. He didn’t want to cede oversight of ASIO and the Federal Police to Dutton’s super ministry. And he doesn’t want to lose on this signature issue of rights.

Dutton’s political trajectory, conversely, is on the rise. He’s emerged as the leading conservative in the cabinet. Fresh from being named Home Affairs Minister-designate and security supremo, he is now trying to demonstrate that he can be more than a conservative warrior, that he can transcend factions to become a political problem-solver and conciliator.

It’s widely recognised that same-sex marriage in Australia is inevitable. Progressives want it now; conservatives are merely seeking to delay as long as possible. For Turnbull, the trick is how to deliver it without the ruin of his prime ministership and possibly the collapse of the government along the way.

The postal plebiscite is an appealing option for Turnbull because it’s the least suicidal politically. Consider the other options.

If Turnbull next week allows a free parliamentary vote, he would be seen to be yielding to the five pro-gay marriage MPs who are threatening to revolt on the issue. “If he does that, he will do himself very serious damage in the party room,” says a conservative critic of the Prime Minister.

“Because the suspicion is that he hasn’t acted in good faith,” in keeping to his pledge to preserve the Abbott-era policy of a plebiscite. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Malcolm Turnbull had given them some tacit encouragement.” The conservative dissenters unhappy with Turnbull’s leadership would proceed to do everything in their power to make his prime ministership unworkable.

And the third option that Turnbull preserve the status quo by confronting the pro-gay marriage rebels in his party is also fraught. By daring them to revolt openly on the floor of the House, Turnbull runs the risk of losing control of the legislature.

Labor could seize control of the chamber, pass a same-sex marriage law with the support of Liberal defectors, claim victory, and deal a humiliating blow to Turnbull.

The consequences would be unpredictable. One scenario is that disgruntled Liberals would declare a spill motion. There are no candidates no one is organising to seize the leadership at the moment.

Indeed, Dutton, often cited by anonymous Liberal sources as a leadership contender, is not about to strike Turnbull. On the contrary, he is pursuing the postal plebiscite compromise as a way of protecting Turnbull and preserving the government.

But a spill vote that pitted Turnbull against an empty chair would be just as damaging as the one that put Tony Abbott up against an empty chair. And Abbott came within a dozen votes of losing. Such an ordeal for Turnbull would be deadly.

So the postal plebiscite is the least worst option for the longevity of the Prime Minister and the stability of the government. But even if Dutton wins the argument in the cabinet, it still has to go through another two ordeals.

One is the Liberal party room. The other is the meeting of the full Coalition party room, where the National Party joins the Liberals. So uncertainty is high and the margin for error wide. But the Dutton compromise is, as things stand, the most likely outcome.

And, if so, Turnbull may look a weak prime minister by the end of next week. But Australia would have some sort of pathway to progress, no matter how much it’s derided. And he’d still be prime minister. In these circumstances, he’d take that as a win.

Peter Hartcher is political editor.

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Same-sex marriage: going postal the best solution for plebiscite – The Sydney Morning Herald

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Lisa Campbell: Gay marriage a ‘straight lady problem’ – NEWS.com.au

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch says he is ‘looking forward’ to a Liberal Party meeting to debate gay marriage on Monday.

David Campbell and Lisa Campbell at the Helpmann Awards in Sydney last month. Ms Campbell has said gay marriage is a straight womans problem. Picture: AAP Image/Paul Miller.

THE wife of TV host David Campbell has weighed into the rapidly escalating same-sex marriage debate, declaring the issue a straight lady problem.

At a forum organised by the pro-gay marriage Equality Campaign on Thursday night, Lisa Campbell said if any of her three children grew up to be gay and were not allowed to marry, it would be very much her problem.

The comments come just days before the return of Parliament where the longstanding issue of marriage equality will come to a head.

On Monday, Liberal MPs will attend a special party room meeting to discuss a way forward on gay marriage which is splitting the party.

Ms Campbell shared a stage with a number of prominent women campaigning for a change to the Marriage Act including former head of the Australian Medial Association Professor Kerryn Phelps.

Lisa Campbell (left) with kids Betty, Leo and Bill and husband David. She said if any of her kids grew up to be gay, the lack of marriage equality would swiftly become her problem. Picture: Justin LloydSource:News Corp Australia

Asked why, as a heterosexual women, she was in favour of marriage equality, Ms Campbell said she had a personal attachment to the issue because she knew people who were legally barred from marrying.

I may be a straight lady but it is a straight lady problem as well as a gay lady problem. This is an everybody problem, the theatre producer said at the event held at the Australian headquarters of social media company Twitter.

I have three children, they are seven, two and two, and they may be gay.

They deserve fairness and dignity as Australian citizens as they grow up and who they choose to be with and to have the same right I was afforded [to marry].

Should gay people be allowed to marry, Ms Campbell said, society will continue precisely as it is now but to some communities it will be a huge tick of approval of the validity of their relationships.

People will have an opportunity in front of their friends and family to make that commitment and that is vastly important for the perception of the LGBTIQ community in eyes of the wider public, Ms Campbell said.

Prof Kerryn Phelps has been a prominent support of marriage equality.Source:News Corp Australia

Prof. Phelps, who is also Deputy Mayor of the City of Sydney, denied marriage equality was a fringe issue that was taking up too much of the political agenda.

So many Australians are saying, hang on, this is really an issue, were the only remaining English speaking country without marriage equality.

Theres a small rump of politicians who are stopping this and the Australian people have had a gutful, theyre angry at the political system which is stopping this from happening, said Prof. Phelps, who married her partner Jackie Stricker in New York in 2011.

With the crucial party room meeting just days away, Western Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith has said he is pressing ahead with a bill to allow same-sex marriage, labelling the governments plebiscite policy divisive and aimed at delaying change.

The time is now for a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage, he told Sky News on Friday.

The public had lost confidence in the idea of a plebiscite, describing it as a tool for delay. Liberal colleagues have flagged the idea of a postal vote, which would not require parliament to pass a bill and would be cheaper.

MP Warren Entsch is one of the key Liberals pushing for a free vote on the issue of marriage. Picture Kym SmithSource:News Corp Australia

Senator Smith said promoters of the postal vote such as cabinet minister Peter Dutton deserved credit for seeking to find a solution, but there were too many unknowns including the cost, whether it would disenfranchise younger voters not currently on the electoral roll, and the very real consideration of a legal challenge.

He dismissed claims it was a test of Malcolm Turnbulls leadership. This is not Malcolm Turnbulls test. This is a test of every member of the parliamentary Liberal party. Senator Smith plans to circulate his bill in the coming week, which he says will reflect the findings of a Senate inquiry.

Mr Turnbull on Thursday said he was standing by the plebiscite, as promised at the 2016 election, and any change of policy was a matter for the joint coalition party room.

Nationals members meeting in Rockhampton on Friday are expected to recommit to the plebiscite policy, which originated from a joint meeting of the parties in 2015 under Tony Abbott and is understood to be part of the coalition agreement.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has urged Mr Turnbull to stand firm. Show leadership and be strong about this, she told Nine Network.

Labor leader Bill Shorten says his party would support a move to suspend business in parliament to bring on a private members bill.

He does expect a very small number of Labor MPs will still vote against same- sex marriage.

with AAP

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Lisa Campbell: Gay marriage a ‘straight lady problem’ – NEWS.com.au

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Britain’s first same-sex marriage celebrated in a Scottish church … – Deseret News

LONDON The first gay marriage in an Anglican church in Britain took place this week, a day after Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described the continuing squabbles over same-sex marriage in the worldwide Anglican Communion as intractable. The gay couple, known as Mark and Rick, had their order of service posted on Facebook, which told people that they were married on Tuesday (Aug. 1) at a service that included the Eucharist at St. Johns Episcopal Church in the center of Edinburgh. The Rev. Markus Dnzkofer, rector of St. Johns, a church of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, officiated. The wedding was a small intimate occasion, said Dnzkofer. The couple, he said, were Americans with Scottish connections who had been together 24 years. This was not some pretty, fancy occasion, he said. They wanted a religious ceremony and they wanted it to be a nuptial Mass. In June, the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, announced that it was allowing gay weddings after its synod voted to amend its canon law on marriage. The change was made when the synod agreed the law stating that marriage was between one man and one woman should be removed. Anglican national churches in Brazil, South Africa, South India, New Zealand and Canada have taken steps toward approving and celebrating same-sex relationships amid strong resistance among other national churches within the 80 million-member global body. The Episcopal Church in the U.S. has allowed gay marriage since 2015. The Scottish vote sparked a backlash from traditionalists in the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON. The group responded by announcing it had appointed a missionary bishop to Scotland to offer alternative leadership for traditionalist Anglicans opposed to the synods decision. Welby, speaking to the BBC from Africa where he has been traveling, was asked if the Anglican Communions rift over homosexuality might worsen, given that the communions center of growth is on that continent, where traditional views on marriage hold sway. The archbishop answered: Its an intractable problem. This is more complex than having a binary approach. There is not an easy fix, but the primates (of the Anglican Communion) have said that they will work together. But the situation in Scotland will make the archbishop of Canterburys task in keeping the Anglican Communion together much more difficult. Since the vote in June, at least nine Scottish Episcopal Church clergy have registered to officiate at same-sex weddings. The first to sign up was the Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, the provost of St Marys Cathedral in Glasgow. Holdsworth, a leading figure in the Changing Attitude Scotland campaign, said that people in Scotland have changed their minds on gay marriage and now support it. The congregation has been hugely supportive. There were loud cheers in church when I announced that bookings for weddings were now open to all couples, when I received permission to do this a couple of weeks ago, Holdsworth said. Several members of the congregation were wearing badges saying, The Archbishop of Canterbury has no jurisdiction in this realm of Scotland. St. Johns Church in Edinburgh first announced that it would offer the rite of marriage beginning in July. Dnzkofer said that there had been dialogue throughout the Scottish Episcopal Church about human sexuality and same-sex marriage. It has been easier than in the Church of England, he said. We are a smaller church, we are not the established church and there is less of an evangelical voice. But we heard different perspectives and heard very different voices. Dnzkofer estimated about 80 percent of his congregation approved the change in doctrine. St Johns website reflects these varying opinions, with an apology for the deep pain the church caused to LGBTQ people and their families. (W)e asked for forgiveness for our resistance to proclaiming the love of God more courageously. We have failed. But it also says that it recognizes that the radical move by the Scottish Episcopal Church will be difficult for some people. We also have failed in loving more generously and embracing more compassionately those who disagree with recent developments in church and state. For this we are sorry, too. The proximity of Scotland to the Church of England will make the situation particularly difficult for Welby. Although they have only an estimated 100,000 members, the impact of gay weddings in its Scottish Episcopal churches will be significant, according to Simon Sarmiento, of the website, Thinking Anglicans. Gay Anglicans in England will be able to travel to Scotland to get married, putting more pressure on the Church of England, he said. Within the Church of England there are deeply divergent views on gays, and at the most recent General Synod, a bishops report advocating no change in the churchs stance on the blessing of gay partnerships or the conducting of gay marriages was narrowly rejected. Since then a Pastoral Advisory Group has been set up and chaired by Bishop of Newcastle Christine Hardman to support and advise dioceses on pastoral approaches to human sexuality. Holdsworth said Welby is wrong to say the problem is intractable and urged him to speak to gay people who want to help come up with solutions. If Justin Welby wants to hear from passionate Anglicans with lots of ideas about how to solve these troubles then one of the things he needs to do is to speak to the people concerned. LGBT people from around the communion would be willing to meet him to help find solutions, Holdsworth said. The last time an international meeting of LGBT activists was invited to meet with a senior leader from the Anglican Communion was in 2005. (Catherine Pepinster is a London-based correspondent)

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Irish PM: ‘Matter of time’ for N. Ireland and gay marriage – ABC News

Ireland’s prime minister says it is “only a matter of time” before same-sex marriage is legalized in Northern Ireland the only part of the United Kingdom where it still is banned. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s first openly gay leader, made the comments at a gay pride event on Saturday in Belfast. Northern Ireland remains the only part of the British Isles where same-sex marriages are not allowed. A 2015 voter referendum legalized them in the republic of Ireland. The issue has been one of the sticking points preventing the restoration of the Catholic-Protestant power-sharing government in Northern Ireland. The Democratic Unionists, Northern Ireland’s biggest British Protestant party and a key partner to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, has opposed same-sex marriage. The Catholic nationalist Sinn Fein supports it.

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First same-sex wedding deepens Anglican divide – The Guardian

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and his Ugandan counterpart, the Rev Stanley Ntagali, arrive at a camp in Uganda to visit South Sudanese refugees. Photograph: James Akena/Reuters The first gay Anglican wedding in Britain took place last week, just a day after the archbishop of Canterbury said the continuing row in the Anglican Communion over same-sex relationships was an intractable problem. The couple, known as Mark and Rick, got married on Tuesday at a Eucharist service where the Rev Markus Dunzkofer, of the Scottish Episcopal church, officiated. Dunzkofer, rector of St Johns, in Princes Street, Edinburgh, said history was made at the wedding, held in the chapel of a Dalhousie hotel. Mark and Rick had been together 24 years, he said, and were keen to have a service with holy communion. The couple are from the US, but with strong Scottish connections. A copy of their order of service, posted on Facebook, described the wedding as the solemnisation of marriage with the celebration of holy communion. It was a small, intimate occasion, said Dunzkofer. This was not some pretty, fancy occasion. They wanted a religious ceremony. Mark and Ricks marriage is the first in the Scottish Episcopal church, which is part of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal church announced in June that it was allowing gay weddings after its synod voted to amend canon law on marriage. It agreed that the doctrine stating that marriage was between one man and one woman should be removed. The vote sparked a backlash from traditionalists, with the conservative Anglican group Gafcon announcing that it was appointing a missionary bishop, committed to keeping marriage heterosexual, to work in Scotland. The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has struggled to keep the worldwide Anglican Communion together over the issue of same-sex relationships, with many African bishops voicing opposition to gay weddings and to clergy being involved in gay relationships themselves. Welby visited Africa to highlight the plight of refugees but his trip highlighted divisions over same-sex marriage. During the trip, he spent time with the archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, a leading conservative evangelical, who walked out of a gathering of archbishops in Canterbury last year, angered by the wests liberal attitudes to homosexuality. Ntagali said that he would not return until godly order was restored. Since then, Canadian and Scottish Anglicans have voted for same-sex marriage; the Americans also accept it. In an interview with Radio 4s Today programme, Welby said that the dispute over homosexuality between the growing church in Africa and the west was an intractable problem. This is more complex than having a binary approach, he said. There is not an easy fix, but the primates [of the Anglican Communion] have said that they will work together. But the situation in Scotland will make the archbishop of Canterburys task in keeping the Anglican Communion together much more difficult. Simon Sarmiento, of the website Thinking Anglicans, said: The Scottish Episcopal church is small in numbers but this will undoubtedly have an impact. It brings this issue that much closer. Gay Anglicans in England will be able to travel to Scotland to get married, putting more pressure on the Church ofEngland. The Scottish church, which has around 100,000 members, voted for gay marriage after years of debate at diocesan and church level. Dunzkofer said that about 80% of his congregation supported the move to allow gay weddings and there had been long discussions. It has been easier than in the Church of England. We are a smaller church, we are not the established church and there is less of an evangelical voice, he said. But we heard different perspectives and heard very different voices. Since the vote in June, at least nine Scottish Episcopal Church clergy have registered to officiate at same-sex weddings. The first to sign up was the Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, the provost of St Marys Cathedral in Glasgow. There were loud cheers in church when when I received permission to do this a couple of weeks ago, said Holdsworth. Several members of the congregation were wearing badges saying, The Archbishop of Canterbury has no jurisdiction in this realm of Scotland. In recent weeks politicians have also piled pressure on the Church of England. Theresa May said she had changed her own mind on gay weddings over the years and the church should reflect on its ban. The equalities minister, Justine Greening, also said that the Church of England must keep up with the modern world by allowing gay weddings. And in Scotland, Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who is gay and a member of the Church of Scotland, has often spoken of her support for gay marriage.

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Special Coalition party room meeting to tackle gay marriage – SBS

A private members’ bill, supported by Dean Smith, Trent Zimmerman, Warren Entsch, Trevor Evans and Tim Wilson, has been circulated ahead of a special party room meeting on the issue in Canberra on Monday afternoon. The legislation would allow two people to marry regardless of their sex or gender. It also would protect all religious ministers and civil celebrants from legal action if they refuse to marry same-sex couples, and covers service providers – such as bakers, florists and photographers – if they can prove their business is linked to a religious body. Dean Smith told the ABC, the move should not be seen as threat to the leadership of the Prime Minister or the government. “Every difficult issue does not need to be seen through the prism of leadership. This is a test for each and every member of the parliamentary Liberal party first and foremost. It is a respectful place the party room,” Mr Smith said. “People come with their points of view. They do show courtesy to each other. There is an expectation that people come and put their best foot forward and make the most convincing argument that they can. This does not have to be seen through the prism of leadership. I actually think that is a distraction.” Crossbench senator Nick Xenophon, who helped shoot down the plebiscite late last year, said the Smith bill seemed a sensible way forward and he would support it if it got up in the Senate. Liberal front-bencher Craig Laundy doesn’t support the private member’s bill. He says the Turnbull government must stand by its pledge to hold a plebiscite on gay marriage. Mr Laundy has told the ABC, there could be backlash from voters if the government walks away from its election promise. He says the Turnbull government must stand by its pledge to hold a plebiscite on gay marriage. Mr Laundy has told the ABC, there could be backlash from voters if the government walks away from its election promise. “I will be when I get into the party room explaining that in the current political environment governments that turn their back on policies they have taken and commitments they have taken to an election, there is a not too distant recent history of that being viewed dimly by those in the electorate.” Gay marriage campaigners have welcomed Liberal senator Dean Smith’s private member’s bill calling it strong and robust. Australian Marriage Equality co-chair Alex Greenwich welcomed the bill as the strongest yet on the issue. “It’s a strong bill. It’s a bill which is designed to allow same sex couples access to civil marriage, while respecting the religious protection of marriage. So this is a bill which we hope will gain support, not only from the government partyroom, but indeed from the entire parliament.” The bill outlines the creation of a new category of “religious marriage celebrants” who can refuse to officiate a gay marriage ceremony, without the fear of being taken to court for discrimination. Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, Anna Brown, says the new category gets the balance between religious freedom and marriage equality. “Same sex couples will have the dignity and the certainty of knowing when they go to a civil marriage celebrant, they will be not refused service, so this is about protecting civil marriage and not allowing civil discrimination in civil marriage. “But whilst also protecting religious freedom. So civil marriage will allow same-sex couples and religious marriage will be protected.” Another alternative being considered is a postal vote. Senator Smith labelled a postal vote an even worse idea. Marriage equality advocates have promised to launch a High Court challenge if the idea gets up based on legal advice that the government would need specific legislation to hold a postal vote on the issue and allocate sufficient funds. Rainbow Families spokeswoman Felicity Marlowe has called for the postal plebiscite vote not to go ahead. But she’s told SBS World News change must happen and is long overdue. “For so many Rainbow Families, their children have been waiting a long time to see their mums or dads walk down the aisle and say ‘I love you’,” she said. “They know their parents are committed to each other and they know that love makes a family but there’s just something about the ceremony and celebration of a marriage that’s particularly special. It would be a fantastic day for children in rainbow families when finally they can see their parents married.”

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Irish PM: ‘Matter of time’ for N. Ireland and gay marriage – New Haven Register

Photo: Peter Morrison, AP Irish PM: ‘Matter of time’ for N. Ireland and gay marriage LONDON (AP) Ireland’s prime minister says it is “only a matter of time” before same-sex marriage is legalized in Northern Ireland the only part of the United Kingdom where it still is banned. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s first openly gay leader, made the comments at a gay pride event on Saturday in Belfast. Northern Ireland remains the only part of the British Isles where same-sex marriages are not allowed. A 2015 voter referendum legalized them in the republic of Ireland. The issue has been one of the sticking points preventing the restoration of the Catholic-Protestant power-sharing government in Northern Ireland. The Democratic Unionists, Northern Ireland’s biggest British Protestant party and a key partner to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, has opposed same-sex marriage. The Catholic nationalist Sinn Fein supports it.

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Britain’s first Anglican same-sex marriage celebrated in a Scottish … – Religion News Service

Anglican Communion By Catherine Pepinster | 23 hours ago St. Johns Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/Jan Brnemann LONDON (RNS) The first gay marriage in an Anglican church in Britain took place this week, aday after Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described the continuing squabbles over same-sex marriage in the worldwide Anglican Communion as intractable. The Rev. Markus Dnzkofer of St. Johns Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, Scotland. The gay couple, known as Mark and Rick, had their order of service posted on Facebook, which told people that they were married on Tuesday (Aug. 1) at a service that included the Eucharist at St. Johns Episcopal Church in the center of Edinburgh. The Rev. Markus Dnzkofer, rector of St. Johns, a church of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, officiated. The wedding was a small intimate occasion, said Dnzkofer. The couple, he said, were Americans with Scottish connections who had been together 24 years. This was not some pretty, fancy occasion, he said. They wanted a religious ceremony and they wanted it to be a nuptial Mass. In June, the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, announced that it was allowing gay weddings after its synod voted to amend its canon law on marriage. The change was made when the synod agreed the law stating that marriage was between one man and one woman should be removed. Anglican national churches in Brazil, South Africa, South India, New Zealand and Canada have taken steps toward approving and celebrating same-sex relationships amid strong resistance among other national churches within the 80 million-member global body. The Episcopal Church in the U.S. has allowed gay marriage since 2015. The Scottish vote sparked a backlash from traditionalists in the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON. The group responded by announcing it had appointed a missionary bishop to Scotland to offer alternative leadership for traditionalist Anglicans opposed to the synods decision. Welby, speaking to the BBC from Africa where he has been traveling, was asked if the Anglican Communions rift over homosexuality might worsen, given that the communions center of growth is on that continent, where traditional views on marriage hold sway. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, after his enthronement ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral, in Canterbury, southern England, on March 21, 2013. Photo by Luke MacGregor/Reuters The archbishop answered: Its an intractable problem. This is more complex than having a binary approach. There is not an easy fix, but the primates (of the Anglican Communion) have said that they will work together. But the situation in Scotland will make the archbishop of Canterburys task in keeping the Anglican Communion together much more difficult. Since the vote in June, at least nine Scottish Episcopal Church clergy have registered to officiate at same-sex weddings. The first to sign up was the Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, the provost of St Marys Cathedral in Glasgow. Holdsworth, a leading figure in the Changing Attitude Scotland campaign, said that people in Scotland have changed their minds on gay marriage and now support it. The congregation has been hugely supportive. There were loud cheers in church when I announced that bookings for weddings were now open to all couples, when I received permission to do this a couple of weeks ago, Holdsworth said. Several members of the congregation were wearing badges saying, The Archbishop of Canterbury has no jurisdiction in this realm of Scotland. St. Johns Church in Edinburgh first announced that it would offer the rite of marriage beginning in July. Dnzkofer said that there had been dialogue throughout the Scottish Episcopal Church about human sexuality and same-sex marriage. St. Johns Episcopal Church, left, in Edinburgh, Scotland, with Edinburgh Caste in the background. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons/The Rev. Lawrence Lew It has been easier than in the Church of England, he said. We are a smaller church, we are not the established church and there is less of an evangelical voice. But we heard different perspectives and heard very different voices. Dnzkofer estimated about 80 percent of his congregation approved the change in doctrine. St Johns website reflects these varying opinions, with an apology for the deep pain the church caused to LGBTQ people and their families. (W)e asked for forgiveness for our resistance to proclaiming the love of God more courageously. We have failed. But it also says that it recognizes that the radical move by the Scottish Episcopal Church will be difficult for some people. We also have failed in loving more generously and embracing more compassionately those who disagree with recent developments in church and state. For this we are sorry, too. The proximity of Scotland to the Church of England will make the situation particularly difficult for Welby. Although they have only an estimated 100,000 members, the impact of gay weddings in its Scottish Episcopal churches will be significant, according to Simon Sarmiento, of the website, Thinking Anglicans. Gay Anglicans in England will be able to travel to Scotland to get married, putting more pressure on the Church of England, he said. Within the Church of England there are deeply divergent views on gays, and at the most recent General Synod, a bishops report advocating no change in the churchs stance on the blessing of gay partnerships or the conducting of gay marriages was narrowly rejected. Since then a Pastoral Advisory Group has been set up and chaired by Bishop of Newcastle Christine Hardman to support and advise dioceses on pastoral approaches to human sexuality. Holdsworth said Welby is wrong to say the problem is intractable and urged him to speak to gay people who want to help come up with solutions. If Justin Welby wants to hear from passionate Anglicans with lots of ideas about how to solve these troubles then one of the things he needs to do is to speak to the people concerned. LGBT people from around the communion would be willing to meet him to help find solutions, Holdsworth said. The last time an international meeting of LGBT activists was invited to meet with a senior leader from the Anglican Communion was in 2005. (Catherine Pepinster is a London-based correspondent)

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Liberals plot path forward on gay marriage – 9news.com.au

New polling figures and a United Nations ruling highlight some of the key issues confronting Liberal MPs as they prepare to plot a path forward on same-sex marriage. The Liberals will hold a special partyroom meeting in Canberra on Monday to debate whether to hold a plebiscite, postal or parliamentary vote before changing marriage laws. Polling released days out from the meeting shows a majority of voters in six seats held by Liberal MPs – whose positions on marriage equality are undeclared – support same-sex marriage and a free vote in parliament. However Liberal voters in each electorate were significantly less inclined to believe same-sex couples should be able to wed or that the government should resolve the issue through a free parliamentary vote. The ReachTel poll commissioned by activist group GetUp examined the views of voters in six seats across Queensland and Western Australia. More than 50 per cent of respondents in five of the six electorates supported same-sex marriage. In Sterling, a metropolitan Perth seat held by Justice Minister Michael Keenan, 48 per cent supported gay marriage, with 42 per cent opposed and 10 per cent undecided. A majority of voters in each electorate believed the government should hold a free vote in parliament as soon as possible. Liberal voters were far less likely to support marriage equality and were generally split over holding a free parliamentary vote. GetUp is urging the six Liberal MPs – Mr Keenan, Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, Assistant Health Minister Jane Prentice, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt and backbenchers Steve Irons and Ben Morton – to back a free vote. Respondents were not asked about holding a same-sex marriage plebiscite. Meanwhile, the United Nations has found Australian laws barring same-sex couples who married overseas from getting divorced violate international obligations. The UN Human Rights Committee ruled an Australian woman has been denied equal protection of the law because Australia does not allow her to end a legal Canadian same-sex marriage. The case was taken to the UN by Fiona Kumari Campbell, who travelled to Canada to marry her ex-partner in 2004 before the couple separated later that year. As same-sex marriage is not legal in Australia, Dr Campbell’s marriage is not officially recognised and therefore cannot be subject to divorce proceedings. She cannot get divorced in Canada either because she did not live there for at least a year. The UN found the differential treatment Dr Campbell was subjected to regarding divorce proceedings was discriminatory. “This is another nail in the coffin of Australia’s prohibition on marriage equality,” Dr Campbell said afterwards. Ahead of Monday’s meeting, federal cabinet has reaffirmed support for a national vote to decide on same-sex marriage. However Western Australian Liberal MP Dean Smith describes the plebiscite as a “tool for delay” and says the time has come for a parliamentary vote. AAP 2017

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Same-sex marriage: going postal the best solution for plebiscite – The Sydney Morning Herald

We are in the strange situation that gay and lesbian Americans enjoy greater equality under Donald Trump than gay and lesbian Australians do under Malcolm Turnbull. Trump may be famously bigoted in his treatment of women as objects, Muslims and Mexicans as terrorists and rapists, and transgender people as unfit for military service. But, thanks to the US Supreme Court, same-sex marriage is a reality in America. Turnbull may have spent 30 years developing his political persona as a progressive, campaigning for a republic, negotiating a carbon emissions trading scheme and championing marriage equality. But, thanks to the Faustian bargain he struck to seize the leadership, same-sex marriage remains elusive in Australia. Monday is Turnbull’s opportunity to fix this anomaly. Mishandled, it is his invitation to oblivion. There is a plan gathering force inside the government. It’s a compromise. It would not please the advocates who want same-sex marriage delivered immediately. Nor would it please the conservatives who want to preserve the status quo at all costs. It’s the idea of a national plebiscite, conducted by post. While this would leave unhappiness on both sides, it is a pragmatic option. It would offer some progress on the underlying issue while allowing Turnbull to keep his job and keep the government in office. Get the latest news and updates emailed straight to your inbox. Much media attention has focused on the fact that the ruling Liberal Party’s federal MPs and senators will meet on Monday afternoon for a special meeting to debate the same-sex marriage question. It will. But that’s the second arena in which this will be fought. Before it goes to the wider party room, it is scheduled to go before the Turnbull cabinet, which will meet earlier on Monday, and this is where the government’s position is to be decided. The cabinet meeting is taking shape as a contest between the author of the postal plebiscite compromise, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, and the advocate for an immediate parliamentary vote to allow gay marriage, Attorney-General George Brandis. Illustration: Jim Pavlidis. This would allow Turnbull to play chairman and to pronounce the final decision once everyone around the cabinet table has been heard. Dutton has been actively building support for the postal plebiscite among his colleagues. It already has won the grudging support of key moderates in the cabinet as the least worst option. Turnbull has not said so publicly but it’s an outcome that he would embrace. But it will nonetheless be a hard-fought cabinet debate. The government has commissioned legal advice on the option of a postal plebiscite. Some ministers have seen it already. This advice makes plain that a postal plebiscite would be vulnerable to a High Court challenge, as a number of academic experts on constitutional law have been saying publicly all week. The answer to this from Dutton and his supporters? That’s OK. The High Court would be expected to hear the case expeditiously. If it allowed the plebiscite to proceed, the government could probably carry it out by the end of the year. It doesn’t need any legislative approvals and the funding authority already exists, so Labor and the Greens couldn’t block it. The plebiscite would inevitably endorse same-sex marriage. Turnbull would have kept his pledge to maintain the Abbott policy. He would have kept faith with the party. And same-sex marriage would quickly be endorsed by the government and legislated by the Parliament. The issue would be off the agenda by the time of the next election. But if the High Court were to strike it down? The Dutton argument is that that’s OK, too. Turnbull would have made every effort to fulfil his pledge of a plebiscite. He will have kept faith with his party. In the first instance, he’s been frustrated by Labor and the Greens in the Senate in his effort to hold a go-out-on-a-Saturday-and-cast-a-vote plebiscite. On the second, he would’ve been blocked by the High Court in his bid for a postal plebiscite. He would then be liberated to take the question it to a free parliamentary vote. Whether the government were to win or lose in the High Court, legalised same-sex marriage would be the result. “A postal plebiscite could be a workable compromise because people with competing views could settle on it as a way forward,” says a moderate cabinet minister. “Because there is a significant lack of willingness to make any effort at give and take on this on either side.” Brandis can be expected to argue that a postal plebiscite is not only constitutionally dubious, it’s also politically dubious. Why? If the postal vote were boycotted by the gay marriage lobby, and if younger voters lacked the interest to mail their ballot papers, the participation rate could be low, below 50 per cent. If that were to happen, the plebiscite could be dismissed as a farce, runs the argument. The same-sex marriage lobby would be undeterred and press on, agitating within the Liberal Party, continuing to destabilise. Labor would make it an issue at the next election. And the government would look like incompetent dills as well as homophobic bigots. The counter-argument is that a low turnout rate wouldn’t matter many countries routinely elect governments with voter turnouts of 30 or 40 or 50 per cent. Their legitimacy isn’t questioned. French president Emmanuel Macron was elected on a turnout of 38 per cent, for instance. The cabinet debate will be further freighted by the political ambitions of the protagonists. Brandis is approaching the sunset of his time in the cabinet. He wants a decisive victory on same-sex marriage as his culminating career trophy on a matter that is dear to the moderate wing of the Liberal Party. Besides, Brandis lost his last contest with Dutton. Brandis opposed the creation of a Home Affairs ministry. He didn’t want to cede oversight of ASIO and the Federal Police to Dutton’s super ministry. And he doesn’t want to lose on this signature issue of rights. Dutton’s political trajectory, conversely, is on the rise. He’s emerged as the leading conservative in the cabinet. Fresh from being named Home Affairs Minister-designate and security supremo, he is now trying to demonstrate that he can be more than a conservative warrior, that he can transcend factions to become a political problem-solver and conciliator. It’s widely recognised that same-sex marriage in Australia is inevitable. Progressives want it now; conservatives are merely seeking to delay as long as possible. For Turnbull, the trick is how to deliver it without the ruin of his prime ministership and possibly the collapse of the government along the way. The postal plebiscite is an appealing option for Turnbull because it’s the least suicidal politically. Consider the other options. If Turnbull next week allows a free parliamentary vote, he would be seen to be yielding to the five pro-gay marriage MPs who are threatening to revolt on the issue. “If he does that, he will do himself very serious damage in the party room,” says a conservative critic of the Prime Minister. “Because the suspicion is that he hasn’t acted in good faith,” in keeping to his pledge to preserve the Abbott-era policy of a plebiscite. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Malcolm Turnbull had given them some tacit encouragement.” The conservative dissenters unhappy with Turnbull’s leadership would proceed to do everything in their power to make his prime ministership unworkable. And the third option that Turnbull preserve the status quo by confronting the pro-gay marriage rebels in his party is also fraught. By daring them to revolt openly on the floor of the House, Turnbull runs the risk of losing control of the legislature. Labor could seize control of the chamber, pass a same-sex marriage law with the support of Liberal defectors, claim victory, and deal a humiliating blow to Turnbull. The consequences would be unpredictable. One scenario is that disgruntled Liberals would declare a spill motion. There are no candidates no one is organising to seize the leadership at the moment. Indeed, Dutton, often cited by anonymous Liberal sources as a leadership contender, is not about to strike Turnbull. On the contrary, he is pursuing the postal plebiscite compromise as a way of protecting Turnbull and preserving the government. But a spill vote that pitted Turnbull against an empty chair would be just as damaging as the one that put Tony Abbott up against an empty chair. And Abbott came within a dozen votes of losing. Such an ordeal for Turnbull would be deadly. So the postal plebiscite is the least worst option for the longevity of the Prime Minister and the stability of the government. But even if Dutton wins the argument in the cabinet, it still has to go through another two ordeals. One is the Liberal party room. The other is the meeting of the full Coalition party room, where the National Party joins the Liberals. So uncertainty is high and the margin for error wide. But the Dutton compromise is, as things stand, the most likely outcome. And, if so, Turnbull may look a weak prime minister by the end of next week. But Australia would have some sort of pathway to progress, no matter how much it’s derided. And he’d still be prime minister. In these circumstances, he’d take that as a win. Peter Hartcher is political editor.

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August 5, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

Lisa Campbell: Gay marriage a ‘straight lady problem’ – NEWS.com.au

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch says he is ‘looking forward’ to a Liberal Party meeting to debate gay marriage on Monday. David Campbell and Lisa Campbell at the Helpmann Awards in Sydney last month. Ms Campbell has said gay marriage is a straight womans problem. Picture: AAP Image/Paul Miller. THE wife of TV host David Campbell has weighed into the rapidly escalating same-sex marriage debate, declaring the issue a straight lady problem. At a forum organised by the pro-gay marriage Equality Campaign on Thursday night, Lisa Campbell said if any of her three children grew up to be gay and were not allowed to marry, it would be very much her problem. The comments come just days before the return of Parliament where the longstanding issue of marriage equality will come to a head. On Monday, Liberal MPs will attend a special party room meeting to discuss a way forward on gay marriage which is splitting the party. Ms Campbell shared a stage with a number of prominent women campaigning for a change to the Marriage Act including former head of the Australian Medial Association Professor Kerryn Phelps. Lisa Campbell (left) with kids Betty, Leo and Bill and husband David. She said if any of her kids grew up to be gay, the lack of marriage equality would swiftly become her problem. Picture: Justin LloydSource:News Corp Australia Asked why, as a heterosexual women, she was in favour of marriage equality, Ms Campbell said she had a personal attachment to the issue because she knew people who were legally barred from marrying. I may be a straight lady but it is a straight lady problem as well as a gay lady problem. This is an everybody problem, the theatre producer said at the event held at the Australian headquarters of social media company Twitter. I have three children, they are seven, two and two, and they may be gay. They deserve fairness and dignity as Australian citizens as they grow up and who they choose to be with and to have the same right I was afforded [to marry]. Should gay people be allowed to marry, Ms Campbell said, society will continue precisely as it is now but to some communities it will be a huge tick of approval of the validity of their relationships. People will have an opportunity in front of their friends and family to make that commitment and that is vastly important for the perception of the LGBTIQ community in eyes of the wider public, Ms Campbell said. Prof Kerryn Phelps has been a prominent support of marriage equality.Source:News Corp Australia Prof. Phelps, who is also Deputy Mayor of the City of Sydney, denied marriage equality was a fringe issue that was taking up too much of the political agenda. So many Australians are saying, hang on, this is really an issue, were the only remaining English speaking country without marriage equality. Theres a small rump of politicians who are stopping this and the Australian people have had a gutful, theyre angry at the political system which is stopping this from happening, said Prof. Phelps, who married her partner Jackie Stricker in New York in 2011. With the crucial party room meeting just days away, Western Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith has said he is pressing ahead with a bill to allow same-sex marriage, labelling the governments plebiscite policy divisive and aimed at delaying change. The time is now for a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage, he told Sky News on Friday. The public had lost confidence in the idea of a plebiscite, describing it as a tool for delay. Liberal colleagues have flagged the idea of a postal vote, which would not require parliament to pass a bill and would be cheaper. MP Warren Entsch is one of the key Liberals pushing for a free vote on the issue of marriage. Picture Kym SmithSource:News Corp Australia Senator Smith said promoters of the postal vote such as cabinet minister Peter Dutton deserved credit for seeking to find a solution, but there were too many unknowns including the cost, whether it would disenfranchise younger voters not currently on the electoral roll, and the very real consideration of a legal challenge. He dismissed claims it was a test of Malcolm Turnbulls leadership. This is not Malcolm Turnbulls test. This is a test of every member of the parliamentary Liberal party. Senator Smith plans to circulate his bill in the coming week, which he says will reflect the findings of a Senate inquiry. Mr Turnbull on Thursday said he was standing by the plebiscite, as promised at the 2016 election, and any change of policy was a matter for the joint coalition party room. Nationals members meeting in Rockhampton on Friday are expected to recommit to the plebiscite policy, which originated from a joint meeting of the parties in 2015 under Tony Abbott and is understood to be part of the coalition agreement. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has urged Mr Turnbull to stand firm. Show leadership and be strong about this, she told Nine Network. Labor leader Bill Shorten says his party would support a move to suspend business in parliament to bring on a private members bill. He does expect a very small number of Labor MPs will still vote against same- sex marriage. with AAP

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August 4, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed


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