Church seeks same sex marriage recognition

Jess Ives (R) and Rachel Briscoe (L) from the Bay of Islands celebrate being married during the first same sex marriage at the Rotorua Museum in Rotorua on Monday, August 19, 2013.

Reverend Chris Bedding of the Darlington-Bellevue Anglican parish says two-thirds of the church's synod have voted to recognise same sex marriage.

Anglicans in Perth have voted in favour of recognising same-sex relationships, including marriage.

The Reverend Chris Bedding of the Darlington-Bellevue Anglican parish said the church's synod had backed the resolution last year but it had been vetoed by the Archbishop.

Under the church's rules, the resolution returned this year and a two-thirds majority was needed this time for it to pass.

Father Chris said he was pleasantly surprised there was a strong "yes" vote from both clergy and lay people, up significantly on last year.

"A lot of people clearly changed their mind over the year," he told AAP.

The archbishop can again veto the resolution or give his asset.

Father Chris said the resolution recognised diversity within the Diocese of Perth, both in terms of sexual identity and theologies of human sexuality.

It also noted the support from many within the Anglican Church for committed same-sex couples being able to register their relationship as civil unions, and acknowledged that legal recognition of committed same-sex relationships may coexist alongside legal recognition of marriage between a man and a woman.

Father Chris said the aim of the policy was to counteract negative and hurtful comments about same-sex couples by other Christian groups, particularly the Australian Christians Lobby.

"When they come out and say things like `it's unnatural to be gay' or `it's against the bible' or `all Christians reject homosexual behaviour' ... we want to say `that's not the case'," he said.

"And if the government ... goes ahead with any kind of recognition, whether that's something as simple as changes to superannuation laws or marriage equality, we're comfortable with that.

"There are gay and lesbian people in our churches, actually lots of them, and we value them."

The resolution was moved by Father Chris and seconded by Dr Carolyn Tan.

Source AAP

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