HORSHAM churches’ stance on same-sex marriage remain behind the word of God as a union between one man and one woman.
The Lutheran Church of Australia Bishop Reverend John Henderson said the church did not seek to force its own views on the rest of society should it want to think differently.
“While acknowledging the many changes in society and the diversity of opinions on sexuality and marriage, the Lutheran Church of Australia maintains its long-standing view on marriage that it is the union of one man and one woman voluntarily entered into for life,” he said.
He said the government had a legitimate right to regulate marriage for the benefit of the society it served and the church did not seek to intervene.
Horsham Holy Trinity Lutheran Church pastor Geoff Schefe said he supported Bishop Henderson’s stance and the perspective echoed through the large majority of the congregation.
He said he urged everyone to exercise their democratic power and vote.
Assembly of God pastor Derek Bodycote said the church did not support same-sex marriage because of the issues that would follow.
“If the law goes through all the schools will be forced to do LBGTIQ teaching, which we are against because that would be grooming children into homosexuality and lesbianism,” he said. “Looking at all the other nations that have already accepted same-sex marriage, we are seeing a freedom of speech taken away.”
Pastor Bodycote said the use of the word ‘marriage’ was an issue.
“They have every right everyone else has got but why do they have to take the word marriage,” he said. “To me God instituted marriage in the beginning and he made it clear it was between a man and woman.”
Pastor Bodycote said the church did not condone anyone who practices a sin.
“We have people attending the church here who are transsexual and we love them, care for them and help them, not persecute them, but as Christians we can’t accept their lifestyle,” he said.
Uniting Church president Stuart McMillian said the church’s definition of marriage was between a man and a woman.
However, he said the church was committed to being an inclusive church that embraced LGBTIQ people.
Regardless of the postal survey, he said the church’s position on marriage would remain the same until the national council decided otherwise.
Mr McMillian said while people might disagree with each other on many issues as Christians, ‘we belong to one another’, so speak with love and respect.
The Horsham Catholic Church were unavailable to provide a comment.