Australia: 500 religious leaders send strong message to Australia's PM

As the Australian government heads into the party room for an emergency meeting to debate how to move forward on marriage equality, more than 500 religious leaders have declared their support.

The leaders from various religions have sent an open letter Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his government supporting marriage equality.

The letter comes a day after conservative Senator Dean Smith’s draft Bill on the issue. His Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 would allow religious organizations to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

The largest number of signatories came from the Uniting Church of Australia (22%), Anglicans (18%) and Catholics (13%). The leaders have signed alongside religious leaders from Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu communities.

‘Marriage equality is a basic human right, Islam is a religion that promotes all human rights not some human rights,’ said Imam Nur Warsame of Marhaba.

‘It will help a lot of young people gain confidence because they are in an environment that says to them that they are wrong and impure, marriage equality will help a lot in the LGBT Muslim community gain confidence.’

Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky of the Beit Shalom Synagogue in Adelaide signed the petition because she believes in equal rights.

‘I’ve signed this petition because I believe that all human beings are created in God’s image and so are entitled to the same legal rights,’ she said. Read more via Gay Star News