Monday, July 22, 2013

Quote of the Day

After many long years of discussion and consideration, and whereas I previously held a different view, it is important now to state clearly that I no longer oppose efforts to reform the [Australian] Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) to provide for same sex civil marriage. I have always believed in the value of marriage and family and I have come to believe that the benefits and rigours of civil marriage and adoption should be extended to same sex attracted men and women.

Inasmuch as some organisations and individuals continue to refer to my previous statements on this matter, and some persist in doing so despite written clarification from me, I now reiterate publicly what I have communicated privately. No one should use my name, image, or previous statements to promote an anti-reform campaign or agenda.

I acknowledge with gratitude those interlocutors over the years who challenged me to reconsider civil marriage reform.

– John Heard
Quoted in "Same-Sex Civil Marriage Embraced by Former Opponent of Reform,"
a media release issued by Australian Marriage Equality
in response to Heard's February 20, 2013 Spectator article,
"Aisle of Plenty"

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
John Heard and the Dreaded "Same-Sex Attracted" View of Catholicism
Distinguishing Between Roman Catholic Theology and Civil Law in the Struggle for Marriage Equality
Quote of the Day – June 26, 2013
Jonathan Capehart: "Catholics Lead the Way on Same-Sex Marriage"
Responding to Bishop Tobin's Remarks on Gay Marriage
An Ironic Truth
Thoughts on Archbishop Nichols' Support for Civil Unions
The "Gay Civil Unions" Approach of Some Within the Catholic Hierarchy: Too Little, Too Late
Kristen McQueary: "Yes to Civil Unions and Yes to My Catholic Faith"
Dale Carpenter on the "Win-Win" Reality of Gay Marriage
Marriage: "Part of What is Best in Human Nature"
A Catholic Statement of Support for Marriage Equality
Catholic Attitudes on Gay and Lesbian Issues: An Overview

Related Off-site Links:
Dreadnought Comes In from the Cold – Joseph S. O'Leary (July 22, 2013).
It's Time to Recognise Secular Same Sex Marriage – Fr. Frank Brennan, SJ (, July 11, 2013).
Separating Civil and Sacramental Marriage – Part 1 – Francis DeBernardo (Bonding 2.0, July 20, 2013).
Separating Civil and Sacramental Marriage – Part 2 – Francis DeBernardo (Bonding 2.0, July 21, 2013).
Catholics Should Be Okay with Gay Marriage – Andrew Sullivan (, July 1, 2013).
Homosexuality and the Church - The Toughest Questions (December 7, 2009).
Fisking Dreadnought – Joseph S. O'Leary (February 14, 2008).


Michael J. Bayly said...

Thanks to Joseph O'Leary for bringing the good news about John Heard's change of heart & mind to my attention. I find hope in such stories of transformation as they show that people -- including so-called 'conservative Catholics' -- are capable of evolving in their thinking on complex issues such as sexuality. The journey for all of us, and therefore for the Church, continues!



Anonymous said...

from ChrisMorley

Australian Jesuit professor Fr Frank Brennan has tentatively put his toes in the water of supporting same sex marriage, but only with equivocation and lots of pre-conditions.
The Eureka Street article headline claims "It's time to recognise secular same sex marriage" but he ends his piece with
"I am with [Pope] Francis on civil unions but, unlike him, I now accept that we can *probably no longer* draw a line between civil unions and same sex marriage."

As pre-conditions before Marriage Equality can be allowed in Australia, he wants bans on hypothetical fertility procedures, tighter, discriminatory restrictions on LGBT adoptions, and the "overwhelming" support of heterosexual married couples for LGBT equal marriage.

At least he's not as overtly homophobic as Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Queensland, who he surprisingly describes as "Australia's most theologically literate bishop". "Theologically literate" is possibly ironic.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Thanks, Chris, for the update and the link to Fr. Brennan's article. I've added it to this post as a related off-site link.