2021: Challenging the Catholic Church on Traditional Views of Marriage Equality.


Welcome to the 2021 Better Together Conference Podcast. Recorded live at the Adelaide Convention Centre on the 18th and 19th of June, 2021. These sessions were proudly recorded and produced by JOY 94.9.  

When the Marriage Equality debate was on in 2017, LGBTIQ elder Malloy Rolfe and her partner Natalie were involved in a local Catholic parish group that met once a month for a free lunch for people who were isolated. One day the chairperson of the pastoral council came to the group and handed out fliers about not voting for politicians that supported Marriage Equality in the Federal Election, and gave a speech in Italian. This was followed by Malloy attending her usual weekly masses and being subjected to similar fliers in the Church. 

Malloy and Maria made a complaint to the Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council and it took almost two years of phone calls, emails and gaslighting before the Chair sent an email saying that he had traditional views. In the meantime, Malloy and Maria had filed a complaint with the Cathedral’s Professional Standards board and several meetings with a priest and a Complaints Officer happened before the Chair’s backhanded apology and refusal to meet with Malloy, Maria and the Complaints Office to discuss ways forward. Soon after, he stood down from his position although we were never told why. 
In this presentation and discussion, and in the light of the current Religious Discrimination Bill, we will be discussing what we learned, what we would do differently, and what we would recommend to other LGBTIQ persons of faith. We will reflect on the significance of intersectional factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, language, class and migration.

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