Comments: Sydney diocese donates $1 million to No campaign

This reminds me of the campaign spearheaded by Cardinal Keith O'Brien in Scotland who urged parishioners to send hundreds of thousands of postcards to the government to stop gay marriage. Unfortunately he had sexually abused a number of priests which lessened the impact of his campaign. Obviously Bp Davies is not a sexual abuser. But he is abusing the power of the 'Anglican' Sect in Sydney by wasting money to affect the postal vote.
Sydney diocese is a malign influence within the Anglican Communion. Happily, recent statistics reveal a drastic drop in the number of 'anglican' church-goers in Bp Davies’s strange church. Sydney-siders have more sense than to be influenced by this sect and are seeing the light by leaving it.

Posted by FrDavidH at Monday, 9 October 2017 at 6:18pm BST

What a scandalous abuse of charitable funds! Is there any scope for the Australian equivalent of the Charities Commission sending Dr Davies to jail for this?

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Monday, 9 October 2017 at 6:18pm BST

Can any Australian on this board say what the status of this gift is in Aus. charity law?

I'm just back from there, don't know the answer, and would love to.

Posted by Iain McLean at Monday, 9 October 2017 at 8:06pm BST

Wow. $1 million to limit the human and civil rights of Australian citizens, many of whom certainly aren't Anglicans. I wonder if every person in Australia has food, shelter, healthcare, employment, education, etc.? If not, what does that say about the gospel priorities in Australia?

Posted by Cynthia at Monday, 9 October 2017 at 9:56pm BST

In other news, water remains wet and the sky a breezy blue.

Got the horrible feeling that the traditionalists may win this one: for whatever reason, the Australian LGBT lobby don't appear to have the political clout developed elsewhere; opposition's united and confident while proponents are opposed to even holding a vote; and the voluntary postal ballot may well be dominated by the most motivated.

Hope I'm wrong. The Western backlash against equal rights is gonna start somewhere, but not, I pray, Australia.

Posted by James Byron at Monday, 9 October 2017 at 10:21pm BST

" It is disingenuous to think otherwise, given the evidence to the contrary in Canada, the US and the UK…” What a bunch of misinformed religion based polemicism.

From The ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada:

"The reference to 'Christendom' is telling. Hyde spoke to a society of shared social values where marriage and religion were thought to be inseparable. This is no longer the case. Canada is a pluralistic society. Marriage, from the perspective of the state, is a civil institution. The “frozen concepts” reasoning runs contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of Canadian constitutional interpretation: that our Constitution is a living tree which, by way of progressive interpretation, accommodates and addresses the realities of modern life"

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 9 October 2017 at 11:47pm BST

This, of course, is typical of the Sydney Diocese's fundamentalist (Moore College) Sola Scriptura-ism.

Remember, it was former Archbishop Peter Jensen who has fanned the flames of fundamentalism amongst the GAFCON Prelates. His influence is also being felt, even in New Zealand, which now has its own brand of FOCA-ism. Binary Sexism is the new Circumcision!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 1:13am BST

Well, one of the joys of the 1970s and 1980s was the immense contribution to British cultural life of expatriate Australians who, finding the political and social climate stifling, came to London. There is a wry look at how this was seen by some in Australia in Clive James' review of a book on the topic ( but we can be grateful that Barry Humphries, James himself, Germaine Greer and others adopted this country rather than remaining at home.

It sounds like the Australian Anglican Church has cottoned on to this and realised that Australia has become a lot more hospitable to culture, diversity and intellectual pursuits, and therefore we in the UK are suffering from the loss of this supply of great writers and thinkers. And by jimminy, they are going to help us out. Because nothing is more likely to improve the sales of VW Campervans in Shepherds Bush and around the back of the National Theatre than Australia deciding to pander to its reactionary tendency. It's been always lurking there, with "ten pound poms" and their descendants often having the whiff of white flight and the "white Australia" policy not long dead, but it seemed to be, Pauline Hanson aside, somewhat moribund.

But nothing says "Daily Mail reading bigots" like a vote against same-sex marriage.

Posted by Interested Observer at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 8:15am BST

James: being just back from Australia, I don't think No will win. Lots of coverage in Guardian Australia. ABS reports that 62.5% of those eligible have voted (based on weighing not counting):

Latest Guardian Aus survey shows that 64% of those who report having voted have voted yes:

And, first response to the question raised by Malcolm Dixon and me above:

Rector of St James King St has condemned decision, and several commentators think it improper under Aussie charity law:

Posted by Iain McLean at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 10:32am BST

I'm not sure that opponents of gay marriage are necessarily "Daily Mail reading bigots". It's not just that I don't think it's good enough to accuse all the opponents of gay marriage of being bigoted: it is the fact that actually many of them clearly defy such convenient stereotypes.

I'm certainly no admirer of the Diocese of Sydney and its defective Christology, but it must be admitted that they have taken a fairly strong and principled line in defence of asylum seekers and refugees at a political moment when Australia is enjoying a boom of popular xenophobia. By Australian standards, Sydney Anglicans could be seen as progressive. Even Christian!

Posted by rjb at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 10:57am BST

It is when I read of things like this that I thank the Lord for the First Amendment here in the United States.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 11:44am BST

'many of them clearly defy such convenient stereotypes.'

Thank you for this rjb. I accept that my views do not chime with those of the majority on here but I am grateful for genuinely thoughtful responses like yours. Please can we all listen, debate, and disagree by all means but stop demonising one another. All of us deserve respect.

Posted by William at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 12:56pm BST

Thanks for the reassurance, Iain.

I'd not be too worried if it were an official plebiscite: it's this cockamamie "survey" model, apparently cooked up on the back of a stained napkin, that causes concern. Hopefully unfounded.

Posted by James Byron at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 3:39pm BST

Living through this has been a nightmare - 10 weeks of non-stop debate about sexuality and gender, and no promise of legislative change at the end.

The Sydney decision has shocked even many conservative evangelical Anglicans from within the diocese. The money comes not from donations but from the endowment fund. This money is the family silver (and comes from the grant of crown land stolen from First Peoples and given to the Church of England in the nineteenth century).

What the diocese is saying is that marriage equality threatens the gendered hierarchy ("complementarianism") and that this gender framework is as vital to Christianity as the cross. So much for Galatians 3:28.

Posted by Peter S at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 6:29pm BST

I am sorry rjb and william but if you had grown up in Sydney Evangelicalism you would not have such a benign view. I am grateful that, unlike 2 close friends at university plus a much admired priest, I did not commit suicide. Instead I rejected any consideration of studying at Moore College and entering the ministry and instead follow a fairly satisfactory career as a high school teacher. I gradually removed myself from any active church service. I was removed from the list for reading the lessons after coming out to one minister but then I never saw a woman read the lesson until finally I began attending St James, King Street which was a 2 hour train trip each way from home. I was taught to hate myself for being something I could not change. I finally fled 3000km to a new country and an accepting diocese in Dunedin, NZ. Any relationship problems I still have as a lonely 70 year old I sheet home to the teachings of my youth and would not ever enter any but a few Anglican churches in the Sydney Diocese. I would certainly recommend any young GLBTI person stay well away.

Posted by Brian Ralph at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 6:45pm BST

Congratulations to Rev Andrew Sempell, Rector of St James, King Street. This is not the first time he has publicly stood up the hierarchy of the Sydney Diocese. Fortunately St James due to its position as the oldest church and having financial endowments is largely immune to the machinations of the Diocese which has gradually seen the removal of most Anglo-Catholic parishes. As soon as they have financial problems, a fundamentalist is imposed on them. I travelled for 2 hours on Sunday morning and have met elderly people, living like me in the Blue Mountains, who literally were in tears at not being able to worship in an "Anglican" form of worship. As a young person I was taught to make fun of churches like St James and even more so Christchurch St Laurence but fortunately I found employment in Catholic High Schools and my blinkers were removed. They attract people from all over Sydney seeking open acceptance. However even at St James, the excellent assistant priest was not eligible for the position of Rector because he committed the unforgivable sin of marrying a divorced woman.

Posted by Brian Ralph at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 7:01pm BST

I just finished watching "Top of the Lake: China Girl" on Hulu. (Depressing, weird, not as good as the first season, not Jane Campion's best work, but Elizabeth Moss and Gwendolyn Christie are very good.) It is set in Sydney, and involves the world of legal brothels and illegal surrogate parenting. Pretty grim stuff. Doesn't the Diocese of Sydney have better things to be concerned about than same-sex marriage?

Posted by William Moorhead at Tuesday, 10 October 2017 at 7:12pm BST

Not bigoted against asylum seekers does *not* equate as "not bigoted, period." Bigotry has various targets - this contribution is clear evidence of bigotry against GLBTI's.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at 8:40am BST

Maintaining basic righteousness in the public sphere - absolutely central to the remit of the Sydney diocese - let's hope the message gets across and the heart to obey God and prevent the apostasy.

Posted by Steve Thomas at Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at 2:35pm BST

Just for the record. the very important S.James's, King St., is not Sydney's oldest church - that is S.Philip's, Church Hill & Liverpool, Campbelltown and other churches are older than S.James's,. Reverent traditional services continue to be available in the Blue Mountains at S.Alban's, Leura every Sunday- but only at Granville in the western suburbs, and nowhere in the south-western suburbs or on the south coast.

I do not know of any drastic decline in Sydney attendances but common narrow and often intolerant diocesan policies do drive many people away. Historically there were only a few Anglo-Catholic churches in our Diocese ; some moderate churches have become A-C but few moderate and middle-of-the-road churches remain, some of those formerly that, but not all, too often drastically changed by insensitive, un-Anglican parsons influenced by (secularizing) neo-puritan ideas.

People and institutions on both sides, and on both sides often unrepresentative, have provided funding for advertising in the current voluntary SSM poll (the Labor Party having blocked a proper compulsory plebiscite). Funding of campaigns is surely normal in a democracy. Whether the Diocese should have provided funding in the way it has is a matter of debate. I suspect most clergy support its action.

In general may I just add, that although I would be the most liberal priest in the Diocese (though culturally conservative and a strong supporter of traditional marriage, voting No), I don't think we are helped by wild generalisations about this very large Diocese, such as describing its influence as malign. And I think there are signs of fresh thinking among some of the many ordinands coming from Moore College who are not all tarred with the sectarian neo-puritan brush too evident in recent times and that gives this ancient, agnostic, but enthusiastic parson grounds for hope. "Great is truth and it will prevail".

Posted by John Bunyan at Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at 3:03pm BST

Exactly, MarkBrunson.

Posted by Interested Observer at Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at 4:16pm BST

The Archbishop's second letter strikes quite a defensive tone. It tends to support the suggestion by some posters here that the gift has been badly received even within the diocese.

The following is important:

"the diocesan contribution came at a critical moment which allowed the ‘no’ campaign to raise awareness of the consequences of same-sex marriage for freedom of speech and freedom of religion"

This confirms that the contribution came relatively late in the campaign, probably too late for it to help its stated cause. If the Diocese was in England, it might face uncomfortable questions from the Charity Commission. It seems that Australian charity law, like English, treats the 'advancement of religion' as a charitable purpose. Whether the Australian regulator would be satisfied by the Archbishop's defence, I don't know.

Posted by Iain McLean at Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at 5:11pm BST

"Maintaining basic righteousness in the public sphere"

That says a lot. It claims to be the arbiter of righteousness, just because. It claims to know what is righteous for all people and all times, Christian or not. It claims that its bigoted compass is the ONLY compass and that liberal churches and the unchurched MUST abide by their bigoted compass... It likely implies that their proof-texting of the Bible must be the law of the land, and oppress those who engage in open and discerning inquiry on the nature of a loving Christ and come to different conclusions (let alone secular people who stand for human rights).

Pretty much every human rights heroine and hero was likely obeying God to a greater extent than those insisting on curtailing the rights of others.

"apostasy" - reduces relational Christianity to something that resembles primitive superstition. I don't mind people holding that view. But I do mind people insisting on power to enforce their view.

Posted by Cynthia at Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at 6:03pm BST

Dear TA friends, Does anyone have the answer to the question of the charitable status of the Diocesan donation?

Posted by Anne at Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at 7:31pm BST

I worshipped at St Albans, Leura (a 20 minute drive from home) for many years because it was one of the few parishes in the Blue Mountains with true Anglican services but finally left there in 2006 after a particularly homophobic sermon by the then Rector. When I spoke with him, he just said we were all sinners. I do not consider my homosexuality a sin and never went back. It was when I decided to begin worshipping at St James, King Street, a good decision. Thankfully John, you are not the most liberal priest in the Diocese, I have not asked those at St James but am aware of their general views and I do know one or two gay men who are priests but obviously not rectors nor open in such a repressive atmosphere. If I did not have relatives and friends in Australia, I would never go back and I do not use my Aussie passport. I am a 2nd class citizen in the country of my birth but proud to call myself a Kiwi.

Posted by Brian Ralph at Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at 8:11pm BST

I suspect I would be wasting my time in asking if any Australian Anglicans could actually fill in what is meant in "Moreover, I consider the consequences of removing gender from the marriage construct will have irreparable consequences for our society, for our freedom of speech, our freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. It is disingenuous to think otherwise, given the evidence to the contrary in Canada, the US and the UK." What irreparable consequences to our freedom has happened in the UK? Or is this just unevidenced handwaving?

Posted by Interested Observer at Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at 8:33pm BST

Oh, and does anyone happen to know what Moore College is, which seems to be the centre of gravity of most of the people listed here: ? Most of them have either studied there, worked there or both.

Posted by Interested Observer at Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at 8:40pm BST

Moore College is the theological college for the Sydney Diocese. I planned to enter after completing my degree at Sydney University way back in 1966. As I grappled with my sexuality I realised that was not the course for me. At my first teaching appointment I began worshipping in the local parish and the minister (I would not have used the word priest in those days) was a wonderful man and asked me to assist with youth work. He left the parish after a "mental breakdown" and I remember visiting him in what I now know was a facility to "cure" homosexuality. He was transferred to administration work for CMS. I am sure he was of no danger to the youth but would have struggled with his feelings. Several years later he committed suicide. That and the suicide of several university friends from the Evangelical Union who must have been struggling, as was I, but we never spoke of such matters in those days, are why am so bitter at the majority of Sydney Diocese and CMS. The Principal of Moore College at that time was Broughton Knox. He terrified me and was a strict evangelical. One of the later principals was John Woodhouse. I worked closely over a year (late 60's?) on Beach Mission with him yet he preferred to forget we had ever met when I tackled him on the matter of homosexuality many years later. As far as I know it is almost impossible for a priest to hold any position in the Sydney Diocese without having spent at least one year studying at Moore College

Posted by Brian Ralph at Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 1:51am BST

Just for the record John Bunyan the website of St James, King Street states "Saint James’ Church is the oldest surviving church building in Sydney".

Posted by Brian Ralph at Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 2:05am BST

Moore Thelogical College in Sydney is where most of of the Sydney diocesan clergy study. (With the notable exception of Archbishop Glenn Davies.) It is a conservative evangelical seminary which profoundly influences the diocese's flavour. The nearest equivalent in the U.K. Is Oakhill College, and in the US, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Posted by John Sandeman at Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 3:08am BST

Brian,. SJKS is the oldest church building in the City of Sydney, but depending on how you define the Sydney region, Ebenezer church from 1809 is older, and is regarded as the oldest surviving church. in Australia. But they are mere non conformists, and later presbyterians. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is descended from one of the Ebenezer founding families.

Posted by John Sandeman at Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 6:21am BST

Your comment surprised me, John so I did some research.
Glenn Davies studied at Moore Theological College (DipA) and Westminster Theological Seminary (MDiv and ThM, with a thesis on New Covenant Worship) and was ordained by the then Archbishop of Sydney, Sir Marcus Loane, in 1981. He gained a PhD from Sheffield University in 1988. He later lectured at and was registrar of Moore College.

Posted by Brian Ralph at Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 8:50am BST

The story is not going away. Latest from Guardian Australia here, which may explain the reference to Anglicare in the Archbishop's second letter

Posted by Iain McLean at Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 3:16pm BST

As was the case in the US same-sex marriage wars, those opposed to civil marriage rights seems to think that their religious freedom requires that they impose their values on society. That is not religious freedom. That is religious privilege.

While we might have hoped the opposition would have learned something from the joyful Irish referendum a few years ago, sadly they seem to have learned rather from the vileness of California's proposition 8. During that battle I was spit at, and my car was vandalized. I feel for my Australian brothers and sisters enduring this.

Posted by IT at Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 4:06pm BST

The problem with homophobic obsessives is they assume that everyone agrees with them, so "what if we lose?" doesn't cross their mind.

The Church of England opposed same-sex marriage, but did so within the political system to which most people pay little attention. So now that it's a reality, and the skies haven't fallen, that the Church opposed same sex marriage is an inconvenient but minor historical detail. In a generation or so it'll be completely forgotten.

But once you start throwing a million smackers around, it sticks in the mind. "Same sex marriage? That's something the church was willing to spend a million to try to stop". That's harder to pretend is a minor detail, and less likely to be forgotten. If you're a 20 year old Australian, the news is clear: the Anglican Church in Australia is bigoted, and is willing to spend a lot of money to prove it. You can be a member of the CofE and claim that Justin Welby doesn't speak for you; it's going to be a lot harder in Australia, because part of every dollar placed in the collecting plate on a Sunday is money that is being spent on bigotry.

Posted by Interested Observer at Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 5:16pm BST

IO asks "what irreparable consequences to our freedom have happened in the UK?" James Caspian wanted to research transgender people 'detransitioning' as part of his Master's thesis in counselling. His submission was originally approved then rejected by Bath Spa's ethics committee because of the danger of social media criticism of the university and offending people. National Trust volunteers who didn't want to wear rainbow badges were removed from front of house posts (sensibly NT later backtracked). Adrian Smith demoted in the Housing Trust he worked for and with a £14K pay cut for saying on Facebook that SSM in church was "an equality too far." No danger at all to freedom of expression (or academic research) then.

Posted by NJ at Thursday, 12 October 2017 at 7:53pm BST

"No danger at all to freedom of expression (or academic research) then"

There might actually be ethics problems with Caspian's research. Given the bullying, murders, suicides, and medical issues with LGBT people, especially trans people, it's only responsible to tread mindfully and compassionately.

If the UK is going to have equality laws, then NT might very well be enthusiastic about inclusion and have perfectly good reasons for wanting to show that they are in sync with the political will for equality. Affirming bigotry is likely a problematic stance for NT...

Lots of employees are getting in trouble for saying things that are homophobic, white supremacist, racist, etc. Hate speech is regulated for a reason and to have an employee spouting it might not be in the best interest of the employer. One can disagree about freedom of expression, but not if it is only to excuse homophobia - either all those hateful "isms" are OK, or none of them. Would the Housing Trust have any reason to believe that the employee might discriminate against LGBTQI people in their job? It certainly raises a red flag as to whether the person would act fairly to LGBTQI couples seeking housing...

So essentially, NJ is saying that IO's reference to "irreparable consequences to our freedom" is that people are no longer free to be hateful bigots. Meanwhile LGBTQI people gain freedom to live in equality and peace. Sounds like the right kind of freedom to me. Maybe all those "victims" could simply learn to respect all people?

Posted by Cynthia at Friday, 13 October 2017 at 5:48am BST

Welby? Silent....

Posted by s cooper at Friday, 13 October 2017 at 6:29am BST

"James Caspian wanted to research transgender people 'detransitioning'"

So nothing to do with SSM, then.

"National Trust volunteers who didn't want to wear rainbow badges"

So nothing to do with SSM, then.

"Adrian Smith demoted in the Housing Trust he worked for"

And he subsequently won at an employment tribunal. So not irreparable, then.

Posted by Interested Observer at Friday, 13 October 2017 at 9:52am BST

All of your examples, NJ, are about what happens when transphobia and homophobia become culturally unacceptable; nothing to do with whether marriage is equally available to all. Of the three only the research one is actually problematic - the other two are situations where an organisation overreached (arguably in the case of the NT as there was no detriment to those involved) and in the housing trust case was slapped down by the courts. Surely if the law protects the freedoms you're worried about then the supposed "irreparable consequences" have not, in fact, occurred?

Posted by Jo at Friday, 13 October 2017 at 10:37am BST

NJ: I would count those as "conditions of employment." I am required to wear a uniform at work, complete (at times) with buttons promoting programs my employer is supporting. Is that a violation of my rights? is a condition of my employment. I am also not permitted to make statements in public (including on line) in opposition to company policy. Violates my rights? No...a condition of employment.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 13 October 2017 at 11:57am BST

Re NJ, "...a condition of employment." You might think about organizing a union.

Notwithstanding, your comments are a red herring as in defense of, "I consider the consequences of removing gender from the marriage construct will have irreparable consequences for our society, for our freedom of speech, our freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. It is disingenuous to think otherwise, given the evidence to the contrary in Canada, the US and the UK…”

One would need to know, for example, beyond political spin and hysterical gossip, what situation, in Canada, this references. Troll me a river for gawd's sake.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 14 October 2017 at 12:43am BST

Not sure I can answer all those in one go! While my first two examples are not specifically about SSM, they are effects of "removing gender from marriage". Adrian Smith's statement was specifically about SSM in church, in which case he is simply supporting the law as it stands, not undermining his employer at all. IO is right that in this case it wasn't irreparable, as the tribunal overturned it, but it is a further example of freedom of expression being constrained. Cynthia, I don't disagree with your point. If you work for a public housing trust of course you must implement the trust's policies in your work. Tim Farron is the classic case of someone who can show one of the strongest records of anti-discriminatory voting in the House, while not believing same-sex relationships are in accord with his faith, not that it stopped the media frenzy. Rod, I don't know about Canada I'm afraid.

Posted by NJ at Saturday, 14 October 2017 at 9:54am BST

oops, my comment at 12:43 a bit of a muddle then, for one thing I mistook Pat O'Neil's "conditions of employment" as quote from NJ, but apparently it was not. Apologies to both for muddying the waters.

The gist of the second part of my comment is that NJ's examples given at 12 Oct. 7:53 attempt to lend credence to the statement,
" ...I consider the consequences of removing gender from the marriage construct will have irreparable consequences for our society, for our freedom of speech, our freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. It is disingenuous to think otherwise, given the evidence to the contrary in Canada, the US and the UK…”

The examples don't lend credence as was already pointed out in this thread. Just to add, Canada's Constitution protects freedom of speech and freedom of religion both. So, what "evidence to the contrary" is alleged, who knows. There have been several complex rulings by Canada's supreme court which right wing commentators have described as "judicial activism". On that see my comment above out of the gate on Oct. 9th.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 14 October 2017 at 2:36pm BST

Re: NJ " Rod, I don't know about Canada I'm afraid." Fair enough. I do know about Australia. Consequently I wanted to limit my comment as much as possible to the comment from Australia about Canada ("Evidence suggests..." etc.) The chap from Australia doesn't know much about Canada either from the looks of it. So, let's let him provide the evidence or else one can assign his comments to fear mongering.

I did get an update today that Perth has issued an apology to the LGBT community. In so doing, Anglicans there were reminded, I gather, that the issue in Australia is about civil marriage. Canada has same sex civil marriage across the country. We also have freedom of religion.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Saturday, 14 October 2017 at 10:25pm BST

When in a hole, NJ, it's as well to stop digging.

Could you outline how trans issues, whether relating to academic research or anything else, are an "effect of removing gender from marriage"? Are you saying that prior to the availability of marriage to same-sex couples, there were no trans issues? That if by the stroke of a pen same-sex marriage were abolished, trans issues would go with them? What's the difference between civil partnership and marriage such that the former doesn't cause issues in the trans community worthy of research and the latter doesn't?

The same question, mutatis mutandis, apropos rainbow badges on NT volunteers. Are you saying that were it not for same-sex marriage, the concept of safe spaces for gay people in which they are not treated badly would cease to be an issue, and that homophobia is solely as result of SSM?

Because bluntly, both those arguments are nonsense, and you appear to be lumping everything you don't personally approve of into a rather desperate "it's all the fault of SSM" bucket.

Posted by Interested Observer at Saturday, 14 October 2017 at 10:28pm BST

Call me Mr. butter fingers, another glitch, that should read (above) " I do not know about Australia" The "not" determines my meaning in what follows.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Sunday, 15 October 2017 at 1:17pm BST

Interesting to read about the apology to LGBT community at the Perth Synod. I see a similar motion was defeated in General Synod, probably by the overwhelming influence of Sydney in that arena. Perth and Sydney are nearly 4000km apart by road and light years apart in Anglican thought. When Archbishop Carnley of Perth was elected Primate of Australia, many Sydney types boycotted him. I once met him and he told me he had grown up in Sydney and attended St James, King Street. He ordained the first women priests in Australia. Distance prevented me attending but I did go to the 2nd in the Diocese of Canberra/Goulburn which was delayed by legal attempts by Sydney to block it. One of the most wonderful services of my life. Perth went on to ordain Kay Goldsworthy as the first female bishop and she is soon to return as Archbishop. Meanwhile there are no female priests in Sydney and Glenn Davies has said women can lead a mixed group Bible Study if the male leader is indisposed. No wonder I left the city and moved 3000km but the other way from Perth.

Posted by Brian Ralph at Sunday, 15 October 2017 at 7:29pm BST

Sydney has always been badly serviced by its religious leaders. The headlines today in the latest discussion on this disgusting and unnecessary plebiscite is from the Catholic Archbishop Fisher
"Governments should, in general, keep out of the friendship business and out of the bedroom,"
In my and I think most of the populace viewpoint, it would be far better if the churches kept away from my bedroom.

Posted by Brian Ralph at Sunday, 15 October 2017 at 7:35pm BST


The apology to LGBT at the Australian General Synod was supported by members of the Sydney group of delegates. It was not voted on after the argument was put that it was only a half apology. (Someone then moved that the GS move on to the next item of business.) The General Synod also affirmed support for traditional marriage as the doctrine of the Anglican church.
An apology to LGBT is on today's business paper at the Sydney Synod.

Posted by john sandeman at Tuesday, 17 October 2017 at 2:03am BST

"An apology to LGBT is on today's business paper at the Sydney Synod"
Well, John. I have seen nothing in the secular press although the apology in regards to domestic violence was covered. I even held my nose and looked at the Sydney Diocese' own coverage but found nothing. Perhaps it got lost under more important things like money matters.

Posted by Brian Ralph at Friday, 20 October 2017 at 8:39pm BST
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