Official Policy Change
This week, after a meeting of the Australia Mission Centre Council and subsequent approval from the First Presidency, Community of Christ in Australia has changed its policy on the sacrament of marriage. Effective 18 December 2017, the sacrament of marriage will be available to all people eligible under Australian law, regardless of gender or sexuality, and celebrants of Community of Christ will be authorised to perform these marriages as they so desire.
We are called to be a people who uphold the worth of all persons. To truly live out their roles in the Australian community, all faith communities must work together to forge a path towards justice and inclusivity. Members of Community of Christ believe that God loves all people. Through the example of Jesus, Community of Christ ministers will continue to stand with those who are persecuted, oppressed and who are voiceless. The change to the Marriage Act, and the change in the policy of the Community of Christ, reflect that stance. We celebrate the change.
While unique in our movement to have a policy change of this regard that has not involved a National Conference, it is believed that the parts of our community most affected by this change have endured enough. Church leadership both locally and globally are of the opinion that previous discussions surrounding ordination of individuals in same-sex relationships reflected an overwhelmingly positive consensus, and with the addition of the postal survey and considerable public debate, it was considered unwarranted to hold another vote on this matter, choosing instead to live boldly into our enduring principles.
This step upholds the value the church places on the sacrament of marriage. We believe the relationship of marriage is founded in principles of Christ-like love, mutual respect, covenant, faithfulness and justice. For generations, this sacrament has not been open to all people. Now, gladly, it is.
In the next few weeks, more detailed resources and policy documents will become available.