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Priest hopes to bless gay marriages
The Rev. Chris Bedding. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

The Rev. Chris Bedding hopes to one day be able to bless a civil union between a same-sex couple.

And though he doesn't know when or if that moment will come, the Anglican priest is playing his part in the hope same-sex relationships will be recognised by government and the Church in Australia.

His first step will be a motion to the Perth Anglican diocese at its annual synod next month, formally acknowledging same-sex relationships.

The motion, which Mr Bedding is confident will be supported, affirms "that legal recognition of same-sex relationships can co-exist with legal recognition of marriage between a man and a woman".

It is a largely symbolic move, but one he hopes will encourage wider discussion within the Church.

The 32-year-old, who describes himself as "celibate and happily single", supports gay marriage and civil unions. His views aren't traditional, but then neither is he.

When he was ordained in Bathurst at just 23, Mr Bedding was the youngest priest in Australia. He is now rector of Darlington-Bellevue in the Perth Hills and in his "other life" is a stand-up comedian, a singer and an actor.

He says it is this other life that has influenced his views.

"I routinely come across people of all kinds of sexual identities and often find myself advocating for a more inclusive Christianity, so that's part of the motivation," he said.

If the motion passes at the synod next month, Mr Bedding said it would mark the first time an Australian Anglican diocese formally acknowledged it was "comfortable" with civil unions.

The West Australian

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