November 16 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

Supporters of the "Yes" vote for marriage equality celebrate Nov. 15 in Sydney. After a majority of Australians indicated they favored same-sex marriage, Australia's bishops said legislators must ensure that any new law on marriage include protection for religious freedom. (CNS photo/David Gray, Reuters) See AUSTRALIA-MARRIAGE-BISHOPS Nov. 15, 2017.

Australian Catholics react to same-sex marriage vote

By Ryan McDougall

Catholics in Australia have shared their views following the country’s vote in favour of same-sex marriage.

In light of the nation’s overwhelming ‘yes’ vote, the head of the country’s bishops’ conference has called on the government to enact conscience protections to ensure that Australians can ‘continue to express their views on marriage, that faith-based schools can continue to teach the traditional understanding of marriage and that organisations can continue to operate in a manner that is consistent with those values.’

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, added: “The Catholic Church, and many others who sought to retain the traditional definition of marriage as it has been understood for centuries, continues to view marriage as a special union between a woman and a man, which allows for the creation and the nurture of children,”

Despite this, he also stated that the Church ‘continues to respect the dignity of LGBTIQ Australians’ and their ministries ‘will continue to care deeply about the dignity and value of all people’ they encounter.

61 per cent of the nation voted in favour of same-sex marriage, to which the diocese of Parramata responded in a statement saying it ‘respects the will of the Australian people.’

“It now seems likely that civil marriage will be open to people of the same sex and we respect that outcome,” the diocese said. The diocese noted that they will continue to promote and practice the tenet of their Faith, that ‘marriage is a lifelong bond between a man and a woman, and open to life.’

Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s Prime Minister, said: “They voted Yes for fairness. They voted Yes for commitment. They voted Yes for love,

“Now it is up to us, here in the parliament of Australia, to get on with it.”

A draft bill in place is set to see the act legalised before Christmas.

133 of 150 electorates recorded a mojority ‘yes’ result, and 17 voted ‘no.’ Surveys say that 7.8 million were in favour, and 4.9 million were not.

Jesuit Fr Frank Brennan, head of Catholic Social Services Australia and prominent Catholic figure in the country, said that while he voted ‘yes,’ he voiced concerns regarding religious freedom. “I am one of those Australians who will be pleased when same-sex marriages are recognised by Australian law, but with adequate protection for religious freedoms,” he said in late August.

Echoing Fr Brennan’s concerns on religious freedom was Lyle Shelton, a spokesman for The Coalition for Marriage who campaigned for ‘no.’

“I don’t think anyone who voted in this postal survey wants to see their fellow Australians put up on hate speech charges,” she said.

“We need to protect freedom of speech, freedom on conscience and also freedom of religion.”

Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney said he is ‘deeply disappointed’ with the results, and said it could potentially ‘further deconstruct marriage and family in Australia.’

Leave a Reply

latest news

Hundreds gather at Carfin Grotto to remember the devout example of Joe Wilson

August 23rd, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Catholics gathered at Carfin grotto to pray for a devout...


Lessons for Scotland from the relics tour of St Thérèse to England and Wales a decade ago

August 23rd, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Two organisers of the 2009 visit of the relics of...


New qualification will boost RE teacher numbers in Catholic schools amid shortfall

August 23rd, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

A new qualification that aims to boost the number of...


Arbroath parish raises four figure sum for charities and church repairs on annual walk

August 23rd, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Parishioners in Arbroath have raised £1,000 and counting for refugees...




Social media

Latest edition

P1-AUG-23-2019

exclusively in the paper

  • Grandparents’ pilgrimage puts prayer at the heart of family life
  • Bellshill parish welcome ‘time for peace’ at Carfin
  • Festival praise for those who ‘create beauty’
  • Former Dundee care home to be demolished following sale
  • The site of this forgotten Babylon

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO