SYDNEY diocese's Doctrine Commission has launched a report
presenting a range of arguments against same-sex marriage, and
bolstering the diocese's strong opposition to any form of
The report, Human Sexuality and the "Same Sex Marriage"
Debate, was commissioned in 2012 by the then Archbishop, Dr
Peter Jensen. It is edited by the chairman of the Commission, Canon
Mark Thompson, who is Principal of Moore Theological College. The
eight authors, all Sydney clerics, are members of the
In the March issue of the diocesan magazine Southern
Cross, Canon Thompson has outlined the three main issues
tackled by the report. One is the context of the debate that has
led to demands for same-sex marriage. "We want to open people's
eyes to see that we didn't get here by accident," he said,
referring to what he called a "massive exercise in social
engineering", a "calculated and determined social agenda that has
been pursued". The second issue is "What does God have to say on
marriage and human sexuality?" and the third is "How we can care
for those who are caught up in the confusion about gender and
sexuality in our age?"
The article in Southern Cross said that the report was
"clear about the authority and timelessness of scripture",
dismissing arguments that "the biblical prohibitions are time-bound
or linked to ancient custom".
It also challenged the view that same-sex orientation could not
be changed: "If such an orientation is not 'according to nature',
but part of the brokenness of our disordered world, then
reorientation is clearly the ideal," the report said. It
acknowledged that not all attempts at reorientation had been
successful, noting that it was rarely clear why some attempts to
reorient had failed, "any more than it is clear why some prayers
for healing are answered and others not".
The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has urged Sydney
Anglicans to read the report. "I want people to understand the
biblical arguments for maintaining marriage as God created it," he
"This is a matter of honouring the God who created marriage and
therefore understanding why he created it and how we can best use
it for the way in which it was designed and for the betterment of
"Unless ordinary Christians become light and salt in their
society, standards will slip and same-sex marriage will be adopted
by society without thinking through the ramifications, the
significance of marriage, and the consequences."