National Forum on Faith & Civil Marriage Equality

17 November 2016

"We support civil marriage equality, not despite, but because of our faith and values."  

For the first time in Australian history, a National Forum on Faith and Civil Marriage Equality was held in November 2016.

This highly visible event brought together leaders from Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities to engage in a positive dialogue about Civil Marriage Equality and LGBTIQ inclusion.

Check out the speeches from the forum

Signed statement

At the end of the forum, religious leaders from Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities signed a joint statement in support of marriage equality.
The statement read:
"As clergy and lay leaders in our faith communities, we believe we are all equal in the eyes of G-d*, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. We urge faith leaders to promote equality and inclusion for all people.
As people of faith, we understand that marriage is based on the value of love and commitment and we support civil marriage equality, not despite, but because of our faith and values.
We support a change to the legal definition of civil marriage to include LGBTI people’s relationships and families, a change that the majority of Australian society supports.
We urge people of faith to exercise their freedom of conscience to stand up for civil marriage equality as a matter of social justice.
We call on politicians to unite to make civil marriage equality a reality for every Australian."
* Signatories from Buddhist and nontheistic faith groups have signed this statement which begins: "As clergy and lay leaders in our faith communities, we believe we are all equal, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status."



  • Dr Gavriel Ansara, Rosh Pinah: An Affirming Orthodox Jewish Network
  • Rev Dr Peter Catt Dean, Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane. President, A Progressive Christian Voice
  • Rev Carolyn Francis, Collins St Baptist Church, Melbourne
  • Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio, Emanuel Synagogue, Sydney
  • Mr Benjamin Oh, Australian Catholics for Equality, GLBTIQ Interfaith Intercultural Network
  • Ms Shiffa Samad, Muslims for Progressive Values
  • Mr Anthony Venn-Brown, Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International
  • Imam Nur Warsame, Marhaba, Melbourne
  • Mr Edward Santow, Australian Human Rights Commissioner
  • Rev Matt Glover, Director, MGA Counselling Services, Ordained Baptist Minister
  • David Coltheart, Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church, Brisbane
  • Reverend Lorna Green, Chair, Anglican Social Responsibilities Commission, Diocese of Perth
  • Venerable Rod Bower, Anglican Archdeacon, Central Coast
  • Rev Dr Keith Mascord, Sydney, Anglican, theologian
  • Rev Dr Jo Inkpin, Lecturer, St Francis College, Anglican Church Southern Qld
  • Rabbi Fred Morgan AM, Movement Rabbi, Union for Progressive Judaism
  • Rabbi Jeffrey B Kamins OAM, Sydney
  • Revd. Penny Jones, Brisbane, Anglican
  • Reverend Dr William J. Lawton, Kiama, Anglican
  • Dr Muriel Porter OAM, Melbourne, Anglican lay leader, journalist, author
  • Rev David B. Smith, Sydney, Anglican
  • Rev Dr Susan Emeleus, Anglican, Sydney
  • Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky, Adelaide
  • Rabbi Gersh Lazarow, Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth Israel, Melbourne
  • Rabbi Kim Ettlinger, Rabbi, Temple Beth Israel, Melbourne
  • Cantor Michel Laloum, Cantor, Temple Beth Israel, Melbourne
  • Rev Dr Noel Preston AM, Uniting Church minister (retd), Assoc Prof Griffith University (retd)
  • Rev Rob MacPherson, Minister, Unitarian Church of South Australia
  • Uniting Network Australia
  • Metropolitan Community Church Sydney NSW
  • Rev Chris Albany, Anglican priest (retd), Bayswater
  • Sekneh Beckett, Psychologist, Muslim faith
  • Jo Jordan, Presiding Clerk, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia
  • The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Canberra, ACT
  • Venerable Thubten Chokyi, Buddhist leader, NSW

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