The issues of marriage and sexuality have been discussed in the Uniting Church since the mid 1990s. Following the Federal Government’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage in late 2017, there was much interest in the discussion around marriage at the recent 15thAssembly of the Uniting church held in Melbourne in July 2018.
The decisions reached at the most recent Assembly meeting must therefore be seen as part of a much longer conversation. Within the Uniting Church it has long been recognised that there is a diversity of beliefs and cultural understandings of marriage. This is reflected in the Assembly’s resolution to accept two statements of belief – the traditional view that marriage is between a man and a woman, and the alternative view that marriage is between two people.
The responsibility of whether to marry any two people who request marriage according to the rites of the Uniting Church has been given to Ministers, as has always been the case. A second responsibility – whether to allow such marriages on church property – has been given to Church Councils.
The current Minister at Croydon Uniting Church, Rev Dr Peter Mallen, has indicated his willingness to consider conducting marriage for any two people, depending on their faith commitment. The Church Council has decided to allow such marriages to occur on church property.
If anyone has questions about these decisions – whether those taken by the Assembly of the Uniting Church or at the local level here at Croydon – they are invited to speak with the Minister or the Chair of the Church Council.