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시드니의 주교와 판사, 마드리(동성애자들의) 축제 반대

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2000-03-03 00:12
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Ecumenical News International
Daily News Service
28 February 2000


Sydney's two archbishops and a judge differ over Mardi Gras
parade
ENI-00-0071

By Moira O'Brien-Malone
Melbourne, 28 February (ENI)--Sydney's Anglican and Roman
Catholic archbishops have both condemned Sydney's 20-year-old Gay
and Lesbian Mardi Gras as ''gross exhibitionism''.

Cardinal Edward Clancy, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, said
the annual Mardi Gras - the centrepiece of which is an exuberant
and irreverent parade through the city's streets watched by about
700 000 people and televised nationally - promoted ''a homosexual
lifestyle'' and did not deserve support.

''The church recognises that there may be no responsibility on
the part of homosexuals for their homosexual condition,''
Cardinal Clancy said, writing in the church newspaper the
Catholic Weekly. ''The church, however, teaches that homosexual
practices are contrary to moral law.''

His views were echoed by Archbishop Harry Goodhew, head of
Sydney's Anglican diocese, the biggest and richest in the
Anglican Church of Australia. ''In highly erotic display it
promotes a homosexual lifestyle, and is certainly not deserving
of the presence or support of citizens of this city,'' he said in
a statement.

''I call on the state government [of New South Wales, of which
Sydney is the capital], politicians and community leaders
generally, and other community organisations, including any
Christian groups who might show support to the Gay and Lesbian
Mardi Gras, to reflect again on the values and lifestyle they are
endorsing,'' the archbishop said. ''Above all, I entreat them to
consider the model for life and relationships that they offer to
the children and youth of this community by showing their support
to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

''In 1998 an overwhelming number of bishops at the Lambeth
Conference of Bishops of the Anglican Communion passed a
resolution concerning human sexuality, in which, among other
things, they assured homosexual persons that they are loved by
God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons,
regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Church;
and they also stated that homosexual practice is incompatible
with the teaching of the Scripture.''

The parade, which is part of a 23-day cultural festival, is a
key event in Sydney's tourism calendar and a huge money-spinner
for the city: according to 1998 figures, it attracted 60 000
international visitors. This year, according to reports, 7200
people have applied to enter floats in this year's parade, which
will be held on 4 March.

The Mardi Gras had its origins in 1978 as a gay rights march.
The march ended in 53 arrests. It has long been a target of some
of Sydney's Evangelical denominations, which have held prayer
meetings during the parade as a form of protest. This year's
interventions by the two archbishops represent a major upgrading
of opposition to the event.

But organisers of the parade have found some high-placed
support. Justice Michael Kirby of the High Court of Australia -
the nation's highest appellate court - took issue with the
archbishops, saying the churches were wrong and would eventually
apologise for their treatment of homosexuals.

In an address to students at a prestigious Catholic school that
was published across Australia, Kirby, an Anglican, said the
churches ''stand up like heroes'' when defending human rights,
but have ''a long way to go'' on sexuality.

''I want to tell you,'' the judge told the students, ''that gays
and lesbians exist, and they always have, in every walk of life.
They are no better and no worse than other people ...''

Kirby, a distinguished jurist who is homosexual and has included
a reference to his long-term partner in his entry in the Who's
Who guide to eminent Australians, took issue with the Catholic
Church's teaching that homosexuality was ''intrinsically evil''.


This was a ''very serious verdict'' and the ''kind of language
that inflames hatred by outsiders and self-doubt and loathing
among those concerned''.

''I, for one, deny that I am intrinsically evil,'' the judge
said. ''Boringly enough, I think I am quite a good man. I respect
and uphold the human rights of others. I do not think it is too
much to expect that others will respect my human dignity for who
I am.

''In my experience, few if any gay and lesbian people choose
their sexuality. It is like your gender, you skin colour, or
being left-handed.

"From the earliest days of puberty, you just know that is how
you are. And if that is how you are, that is how God meant you to
be.''

? The Anglican diocese of Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest
city, has a new archbishop, elected at the weekend after three
days of debate and nine ballots of the 980-member diocesan synod.
He is the present Bishop of South Sydney, Peter Watson, aged 64.
Bishop Watson replaces Archbishop Keith Rayner, aged 70, who
retired in November. Bishop Watson, described by Melbourne's Age
newspaper as a moderate evangelical, is reported to be in favour
of ordaining women, but against the ordination of practising
homosexuals.