A court in Tasmania has ruled that a Catholic church can’t ban same-gender couples from attending weddings and other solemnised events.
Key points:The case will allow the Church to appeal the decisionThe case is being heard by the Tasmanian Supreme CourtThe Church’s decision is the first time the Court has ruled on a case involving a Christian denominationThe court will now hear the case on January 20.
The Tasmanian Court of Appeal ruled on Monday that the Catholic church cannot prohibit same- gender couples from participating in marriage ceremonies, including the Catholic wedding ceremonies.
In an unusual decision, the court rejected the Tasmanians’ submission that the Church’s refusal to allow same- sex couples to participate in wedding ceremonies violates their fundamental rights.
The church, which has long opposed same- Sex Marriage, said the decision was an example of discrimination.
“It’s an abuse of power and it’s an attack on our values,” church spokesperson Michael Moore said.
“The court has just upheld the principle that a Christian institution can’t be forced to act contrary to its own beliefs.”
Mr Moore said the church’s position was that its belief is that marriage is a sacramental union between a man and a woman.
The case against the Catholic churches ban is being seen as a landmark victory for the Church.
“This is the last time in history that a court has ruled against a Christian church,” he said.”[It] means that the Tasmania Court of Appeals has ruled in favour of our beliefs.”
I don’t think anybody would have been able to make that argument to the Tasmanie Court of Justice.
“What we are doing here is saying that our position is that same- Gender Marriage is the fundamental right of the Tasmanial community.”
The Tasmanians argue the church has not offered a compelling reason why it cannot accept same-gendered couples.
They also say the church is failing to promote the benefits of same-Sex Marriage in the community.
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