After a long struggle, the Uniting Church becomes the first to offer same-sex marriage

After a long struggle, the Uniting Church becomes the first to offer same-sex marriage

It permits those being married in the UCA to choose between two authorised marriage liturgies - one that continues to use the traditional language of “husband and wife” and one that speaks of the union of “two people” and is therefore open to same-sex couples.

The choice also allows clergy, like myself, to exercise individual freedom of conscience. Ministers will not be compelled to marry a same-sex couple if it goes against their personal understanding of marriage. This freedom reflects the diversity of opinion on the matter while upholding a fundamental commitment of the UCA to maintain diversity in unity.

Essay: From cultures of violence to ways of peace

Essay: From cultures of violence to ways of peace

In this essay I focus on Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers in detention, particularly in those three weeks from 31 October 2017. The issue is not resolved, as recent reports of inadequate medical care—particularly in mental health—for detainees on Nauru and in the new facilities on Manus indicate (e.g. Davidson 2018a; Syed 2018). Since the forced transfer of the men, however, the Australian media has largely lost interest and even public Australian activism has died down, though there were rallies on Palm Sunday (25 March 2018) for refugees; on 1 March 2018 Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne launched a campaign to #changethepolicy; and between 16 and 22 July 2018 #FiveYearsTooMany rallies were held around Australia.