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Ballarat minister cancels wedding after bride expressed support for same-sex marriage

3AW News

A Ballarat Minister has refused to marry a couple after the bride-to-be expressed support for same-sex marriage on social media.

The 26-year-old bride and 25-year-old groom were meant to be getting married at Ebeneezer St. Johns church in November by minister Steven North (seen above).

In early August the bride posted a Facebook status declaring her support for marriage equality, Fairfax reports.

The couple were then summoned to Mr North’s office and were told he would no longer marry them, nor would they be allowed to hold their ceremony at the church.

Daniel Andrews has condemned church’s actions, saying he thought people had moved on.

Meanwhile Malcolm Turnbull says churches are entitled to decide who they will and won’t marry.

Anna Brown, chair of government’s LGBTI taskforce justice working group, told Neil Mitchell she believed it is legal for churches to refuse to marry a couple.

“It is entirely possible, (that it is legal to refuse),” Ms Brown said.

“What it does illustrate is that churches do have a broad disgression to refuse to allow couples to marry.”

Neil described the priest’s actions as “counterproductive”.

“It really offends me that anybody, I don’t care whether they’re pro marriage equality or against it, for somebody to say we’re not going to marry you because of what you think,” Neil said.

“I think it’s rough.”

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