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UCA reaffirms same-gender marriage stance

The Uniting Church has strongly restated its stance on same-gender marriage in the wake of what UCA National President Dr Deidre Palmer called a “regrettable” and factually incorrect ABC story on purported divisions over the issue.

In a pastoral statement to the church on 26 May following the ABC story, Dr Palmer assured members who may have been disturbed by it that Uniting Church leaders “continue to work in good faith across our theological diversity”.

“The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly’s decision to recognise two statements of belief on marriage remains in place,” Dr Palmer wrote

“I want to reassure all members of the Uniting Church – your rights to follow your beliefs on marriage will continue to be respected and protected.

“The voices in today’s ABC report are in no way authorised by the Uniting Church, and they are certainly not representative of the abundant goodwill among our Church members.”

Dr Palmer said the ABC journalist had premised his story on finding “division in spite of all evidence presented to the contrary”.

As a consequence the ABC report contained “many factual errors, false allegations and misrepresentations that we will seek to address with the ABC in due course”.

Read Dr Palmer’s statement in full:

“ABC News has today regrettably published a story seeking to highlight divisions within our Church over our decision last year to allow ministers and authorised celebrants the freedom to perform same-gender marriages.

“The report contains many factual errors, false allegations and misrepresentations that we will seek to address with the ABC in due course.

“By way of background, the journalist who produced the story first approached the Church back in February. It quickly became apparent that his story was based on the premise of division in spite of all evidence presented to the contrary.

“As a result, the decision was taken not to cooperate with the ABC on this story.

“Many respected Uniting Church leaders and theologians refused the journalist’s requests for comment.

“For those members who may be disturbed to read, see or hear this report today, please be assured that right across the Uniting Church, leaders continue to work in good faith across our theological diversity.

“The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly’s decision to recognise two statements of belief on marriage remains in place.

“This decision allows ministers and celebrants authorised by the Uniting Church the freedom to conduct or to refuse to conduct same-gender marriages.

“I want to reassure all members of the Uniting Church – your rights to follow your beliefs on marriage will continue to be respected and protected.

“The voices in today’s ABC report are in no way authorised by the Uniting Church, and they are certainly not representative of the abundant goodwill among our Church members, and the way in which we continue to witness to God’s abundant grace in our community.”

Dr Deidre Palmer
President
Uniting Church in Australia Assembly

26 May 2019

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