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PERTH: The Dean of St George's Cathedral backs a Yes vote in same-sex marriage postal survey

PERTH: The Dean of St George's Cathedral backs a Yes vote in same-sex marriage postal survey
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has described it as "unacceptable"

By Nick Butterly
August 30, 2017

The Dean of St George's Cathedral has thrown his support behind the campaign for same-sex marriage, revealing he is the father of an adult child who is gay.

The Very Reverend Richard Pengelley will launch the local campaign for Christians for marriage equality at the cathedral today, arguing same-sex marriage is no threat to "traditional" models of marriage.

Stressing he is fronting the campaign as an individual Christian, rather than his position as a senior Anglican, Mr Pengelley said that he had real experience of the struggles faced by same-sex attracted people.

"As the father of a same-sex attracted adult child and school and university chaplain, I have lived with the struggles of identity and inequality, especially in young people," he said. Mr Pengelley said homosexuality could not be viewed as some sort of deficiency or disease from which people could be cured.

"Rather I see it is a valid expression of human sexuality along a spectrum," he said.

Mr Pengelley said the Bible contained several condemnations of homosexuality which were contextual to their time and had little resemblance to contemporary understandings of same-sex attraction.

"Jesus ... did not marry and did not say anything about either same-sex relationships or marriage but did say a great deal about divorce and remarriage, the morality of both most contemporary Christians accept have changed since his time," he said. The newly elected Anglican Archbishop of Perth Kay Goldsworthy told The WestAustralian this week she sat on the more "inclusive" side of the gay marriage debate, though stopped short of suggesting the Anglican Church as an institution would support a Yes vote.

Catholic Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe sent a lengthy letter to worshippers this month outlining the Church's arguments against gay marriage but stressed the Church was only proposing its view, not seeking to impose a position on the nation.

Archbishop-elect Goldsworthy is the first woman to be appointed to lead a major metropolitan Anglican diocese in Australia.

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