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Advocates have praised the Bishop of Wangaratta, John Parkes, for his public openness to marriage equality.

The Bishop has told the Wangaratta Chronicle marriage equality is not “a betrayal of the Gospel or the end of the world” and that the reform is inevitable.

In an extensive interview he said,

“I look at my gay friends – one very prominent Australian who’s been in a faithful, monogamous, life-supporting relationship for nigh on 40 years – and I look at some so-called Christian marriages that are abusive, oppressive and life-denying and ask: what’s more God-like? I don’t have a difficulty coming to a conclusion with that.”

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

“Bishop Parkes has articulated the truth at the core of the movement for marriage equality: what matters in a marriage are the qualities in the relationship, not the gender of the partners.”

“According to opinion polls the majority of Australian Christians support marriage equality, and in Bishop Parkes they have found an important supporter.”

“I urge federal politicians to listen carefully to what Bishop Parkes has to say and move quickly to pass marriage equality.”

Mr Croome agreed with Bishop Parkes that religious celebrants should not be forced to marry couples, including same-sex couples, although he disagreed with the Bishop about adopting the French marriage system.

“In France all marriages are performed in the Town Hall and religious marriages have no legal standing, which is a radical and unnecessary departure for Australia.”

Mr Croome said Australian Marriage Equality will alert all federal MPs and Senators to Bishop’s Parkes’ views.

Further comments from Bishop Parkes’ interview are included below. A copy of the news story is HERE and a relevant editorial is HERE.

For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.

Author: Rodney Croome
Publication: AME Media Release
Date: 4 September 2015


“As I read the Bible in context, as I read the way that the church has dealt with it and now deals with it, I can find no biblical prohibition.”

“Society has grown up in relation to the multiplicity of expressions of the ways in which humans relate.”

“For kids, for people of my daughter’s age, 30 and under, this is just not an issue.”

“To talk about marriage as though it’s a simple thing, biblically-ordained, is nonsense….the notion of marriage and sex in marriage – the old Roman Catholic position that (sexual intercourse) is only for procreation – is just hogwash in this day.”

“You point to me the biblical model of marriage – and, indeed, some of the models of marriage in the Bible are not some we would want to emulate.”
Copyright © 2015 Australian Marriage Equality, All rights reserved.
Media Release