Top Angli­can backs a Yes vote in plebiscite

The West Australian - - NEWS - Nick But­terly

The Dean of St Ge­orge’s Cathe­dral has thrown his sup­port be­hind the cam­paign for same­sex mar­riage, re­veal­ing he is the fa­ther of an adult child who is gay.

The Very Rev­erend Richard Pen­gel­ley will launch the lo­cal cam­paign for Chris­tians for mar­riage equal­ity at the cathe­dral today, ar­gu­ing same-sex mar­riage is no threat to “tra­di­tional” mod­els of mar­riage.

Stress­ing he is fronting the cam­paign as an in­di­vid­ual Chris­tian, rather than his po­si­tion as a se­nior Angli­can, Mr Pen­gel­ley said that he had real ex­pe­ri­ence of the strug­gles faced by same-sex at­tracted peo­ple.

“As the fa­ther of a same-sex at­tracted adult child and school and univer­sity chap­lain, I have lived with the strug­gles of iden­tity and in­equal­ity, es­pe­cially in young peo­ple,” he said. Mr Pen­gel­ley said ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity could not be viewed as some sort of de­fi­ciency or dis­ease from which peo­ple could be cured.

“Rather I see it is a valid ex­pres­sion of hu­man sex­u­al­ity along a spec­trum,” he said.

Mr Pen­gel­ley said the Bi­ble con­tained sev­eral con­dem­na­tions of ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity which were con­tex­tual to their time and had lit­tle re­sem­blance to con­tem­po­rary un­der­stand­ings of same-sex at­trac­tion.

“Je­sus . . . did not marry and did not say any­thing about ei­ther same-sex re­la­tion­ships or mar­riage but did say a great deal about di­vorce and re­mar­riage, the moral­ity of both most con­tem­po­rary Chris­tians ac­cept have changed since his time,” he said. The newly elected Angli­can Arch­bishop of Perth Kay Goldswor­thy told The West Aus­tralian this week she sat on the more “in­clu­sive” side of the gay mar­riage de­bate, though stopped short of sug­gest­ing the Angli­can Church as an in­sti­tu­tion would sup­port a Yes vote.

Catholic Arch­bishop of Perth Ti­mothy Costel­loe sent a lengthy let­ter to wor­ship­pers this month out­lin­ing the Church’s ar­gu­ments against gay mar­riage but stressed the Church was only propos­ing its view, not seek­ing to im­pose a po­si­tion on the na­tion.

Arch­bishop-elect Goldswor­thy is the first woman to be ap­pointed to lead a ma­jor met­ro­pol­i­tan Angli­can dio­cese in Aus­tralia.

Richard Pen­gel­ley

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