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Greek-Australian Community Has Mixed Views On Gay Marriage

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Ireland's recent legalization of same-sex marriage has prompted other nations to create legislation on the issue, including Australia.

As Greek-Australian news portal Neos Kosmos reports, differing views on the matter have occurred. Greek Orthodox Leader in Australia Archbishop Stylianos recently stated that the Church's marriage stance needs, "an adequate understanding of how the term 'marriage' is understood, not only in the community of the faithful, but also its broader societal implications".

Archbishop Stylianos remarked, "The position of the Orthodox Church worldwide - not only in Australia - can never depart from the teaching of Holy Scripture. The union between a man and a woman in the sacrament of marriage reflects the union between Christ and His Church."

The Archbishop added, "Rather, our concern is that the very institution of marriage, which has a Christian tradition of two entire millennia, should remain as it is, and not be confused with the political debate concerning the legal status of same-sex unions."

The Greek-Australian gay community believes that Ireland's legal movement can serve as a stimulant for change in their nation. An anonymous Australian Greek and Gay Facebook group participant described to Neos Kosmos, "There is a separation of Church and State in Australia - and this should remain at all levels. The Church is entitled to its own opinions as are we [but] the marriage act changes proposed, solely impact on civil marriage - and as such do not impact on any Church in Australia."

The source further commented, "The Greek Australian gay community has been offering support to its members for over 20 years, yet it's been very private in that aspect. We struggle to get the message out there, it's falling on deaf ears within the Greek community."

Greek-Australian Senator Nick Xenophon remarked to Neos Kosmos, "It is a conscience vote for me...I regard the right of a person to hold their religious beliefs as fundamental in a free society. But beyond religion and religious beliefs, I also believe in the law, and our laws should apply equally to all."

(Source: Neos Kosmos)