Kristina Keneally, Tim Wilson to headline ACU marriage conversation

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Former NSW Premier and gay marriage advocate, Kristina Keneally.
Former NSW Premier and gay marriage advocate, Kristina Keneally.

Kristina Keneally and Tim Wilson will join the Australian’s Paul Kelly and the Bishop of Broken Bay, Bishop Peter Comensoli on 12 October for what Australian Catholic University (ACU) has dubbed a “respectful conversation on marriage” at the Peter Cosgrove Centre (Level 22, 8-20 Napier St), in North Sydney.

ACU will also host a similar discussion on 15 October in Melbourne, also featuring Mr Wilson as well as international lawyer, Fr Frank Brennan SJ; News Corp columnist, Miranda Divine; and Melbourne auxiliary bishop, Bishop Terry Curtin.

The public stances of the speakers at the Sydney and Melbourne events are relatively well known.

Ms Keneally, a Catholic and former Premier of NSW, is a supporter of gay marriage, as is Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson.

Mr Kelly is a vocal advocate for strong religious liberty protections.

Mr Wilson has also argued for some protections, including that marriage service providers be exempted from having to render services for gay weddings, but only on the proviso that they only render services for “religious” marriages (between one man and one woman).

Fr Brennan, a supporter of state-sanctioned same-sex marriage, has called for strong assurances that churches will not face undue discrimination in the name of equality, while Ms Devine is a vocal proponent of marriage, as traditionally defined.

In a statement released today, ACU said that the Catholic Church’s position on marriage was “well known but not well understood”.

“As a Catholic university, ACU is committed to an intellectual tradition that actively encourages a dialogue between faith and reason,” the statement said.

“The University acknowledges there is a range of views on marriage in our community. Our commitment is to be a place where a respectful dialogue can occur.”

ACU Vice Chancellor, Prof Greg Craven will chair the Sydney event, while the university’s director of government, Julian Leeser, will chair the conversation in Melbourne.

Members of the audience will be given the opportunity to submit questions to the panel at registration.

To register, or for more information:

Sydney – www.acu.edu.au/marriagesydney

Melbourne – www.acu.edu.au/marriagemelbourne