Group of bishops in Australia supporting marriage equality bill

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There is a bill before the Australian House right now, proposing marriage equality. It has passed the Senate already, but must pass the House unchanged in order to be signed into law. A group of Anglican bishops, led by John Parkes, the Bishop of Wangaratta, has voiced its support for the bill, urging the House to pass it. Coalition conservatives are pushing for amendments, purportedly to safeguard “religious freedom.” The seven bishops wrote to the MPs to show that not all religious leaders feel that the changes are necessary. Bishop Parkes said, “It preserves the fabric of our anti-discrimination laws, which have been developed over half a century,” they say. “These give expression to democratic values of equality and fairness. It also accords fulsome recognition of the religious rights and freedoms that underpin a democratic, plural and multicultural society.”

Not all of the Australian Anglican leadership is in support of the bill. The Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, donated $1 million to the opposition campaign, and the head of the church in Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier, publicly voted “no” in a survey circulated in the months leading up to the vote.

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