Marriage decision – a helpful reflection from Andrew Dutney

At Assembly – Rev. Prof Andrew Dutney, Professor of Theology, Flinders University and Past President, Uniting Church in Australia

Reflection: Uniting Church Allows Same-Sex Marriage

The headline, [Uniting Church allows Same-Sex Marriage] conceals what actually happened in Melbourne this week. Without setting out to do so, the Uniting Church recovered its stated vocation of making visible unity in diversity.

Of course, the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia did indeed make decisions that will allow ministers to conduct same-sex marriages. But it also reinforced the rights of ministers and congregations who remain committed to the traditional understanding of marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

No minister will have to conduct same-sex marriages if it conflicts with their beliefs. No congregation will have to make its property available for same-sex weddings if they don’t believe gay marriage is valid for Christians. In fact it is very unlikely that many ministers and congregations will see any difference in the teaching and practices that they are used to.

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