The conservative Diocese of Sydney has drawn $1 million from its endowment fund to support the “No” campaign in Australia’s mail-in referendum on marriage equality.
The Anglican Diocese of Sydney, a founding member of the “No” campaign’s Coalition for Marriage in the same-sex marriage debate, donated $1 million to the cause, the Archbishop Glenn Davies said.
The donation was made around a month ago — around the time when “No” campaign spokesperson Lyle Shelton said it was a “David and Goliath battle” for his side after Qantas CEO Alan Joyce personally donated $1 million to the “Yes” campaign.
Archbishop Davies revealed the donation yesterday at the 51st Synod of the Diocese of Sydney, saying the church’s standing committee “enthusiastically backed our participation in the Coalition for Marriage has taken the bold step of drawing down $1 million from the Diocesan Endowment to promote the ‘No’ case”.
“The stakes are high and the cost is high. Yet the cause is just and it is a consequence of our discipleship to uphold the gift of marriage as God has designed it,” he said. …
“The cause is just and it is a consequence of our discipleship to uphold the gift of marriage as God has designed it — a creation ordinance for all people,” he said.
He also warned against removing gender from marriage saying “I consider the consequences of removing gender from the marriage construct will have irreparable consequences for our society, for our freedom of speech, our freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. It is disingenuous to think otherwise, given the evidence to the contrary in Canada, the US and the UK”.
The Guardian notes that not all of Davies’ fellow Anglican Church of Australian Archbishops are in agreement.
In August, the new Archbishop of Perth, Kay Goldsworthy, told the Guardian she favoured the more “inclusive” side of the marriage debate.
Reuters reports that as of yesterday, 10 million Australians were estimated to have returned votes in a non-binding postal ballot designed to inform their government on whether the populace wants Australia to expand marriage rights to same-gender couples. The results will be announced on November 15.
Featured image: The Most Revd Glenn Davies is the Archbishop of Sydney in the Anglican Church of Australia