Sydney’s Anglican Diocese gave the same-sex marriage ‘No’ campaign $1 million

The Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies. Source: Anglican Diocese of Sydney

The Anglican Diocese of Sydney, a founding member of the “No” campaign’s Coalition for Marriage in the same-sex marriage debate, donated $1 million to the cause, the Archbishop Glenn Davies said.

The donation was made around a month ago — around the time when “No” campaign spokesperson Lyle Shelton‏ said it was a “David and Goliath battle” for his side after Qantas CEO Alan Joyce personally donated $1 million to the “Yes” campaign.

Archbishop Davies revealed the donation yesterday at the 51st Synod of the Diocese of Sydney, saying the church’s standing committee “enthusiastically backed our participation in the Coalition for Marriage has taken the bold step of drawing down $1 million from the Diocesan Endowment to promote the ‘No’ case”.

“The stakes are high and the cost is high. Yet the cause is just and it is a consequence of our discipleship to uphold the gift of marriage as God has designed it,” he said.

Archbishop Davies attacked “Yes” proponents saying they have been “virulent in their opposition to those who hold a contrary view”, citing criticisms of the Bible Society’s promotion with Coopers Beer, which “resulted in an uncivilised, unwarranted and malicious campaign through social media to boycott Coopers” and the “ludicrous attempt to rename Margaret Court Arena” because the tennis champion opposed same-sex marriage.

“We find ourselves being moved in a more libertarian direction under the influence of those who want to abandon the mores of the past. Yet at the same time these permissive forces who espouse the virtue of ‘tolerance’ are seeking to impose restrictions upon those who wish to maintain the values on which our nation has been founded. This has become nowhere more apparent than in the current debate surrounding the postal survey on same-sex marriage,” he told the Synod.

The Archbishop said he would make “no apology” for encouraging all Australians to vote “no”.

“The cause is just and it is a consequence of our discipleship to uphold the gift of marriage as God has designed it — a creation ordinance for all people,” he said.

He also warned against removing gender from marriage saying “I consider the consequences of removing gender from the marriage construct will have irreparable consequences for our society, for our freedom of speech, our freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. It is disingenuous to think otherwise, given the evidence to the contrary in Canada, the US and the UK”.

Father Rod Bower, the outspoken Anglican Archdeacon of the Central Coast, was quick to make his views known on the Sydney Diocese’s donation.