Australian church which sacked pro-gay marriage pastor “hardly Christian”

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Rev Matt Glover, a pastor who supports a marriage equality campaign for Christians, has been sacked from his position at a Baptist Church in Melbourne, the group Australian Marriage Equality says.

Glover had been the pastor of Lilydale Baptist Church for two years before reportedly being sacked for putting his name to the group’s “christians4equality” campaign.

Australian Marriage Equality says Rev Glover, who has a young family, was popular with parishioners for encouraging community outreach and engagement, and ministering to LGBT people.

He had said: “I’ve said the church doesn’t have to recgonise gay marriage, the church doesn’t have to practice gay marriage, but I think the church needs to stand up for the right of gay people to have their relationships, their marriages, legally recognised by the Government.

“It’s a burden we’ve felt that there’s a group of people in our community getting isolated and oppressed and having lies said about them… making them look like deviants”

The Christian activist group Salt Shakers, who believe Jesus can help gays become straight and “whole”, had called for God to either “improve or remove” Rev Glover.

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays opened a bank account for donations to help Rev Glover until he finds a new position.

PFLAG National spokesperson, Shelley Argent said: “Church groups are the first to complain about discrimination when challenged on the issue of marriage equality. But, sadly they discriminate against their own on this same issue.

“These ‘bully boy’ actions are hardly Christian.”

“To thank Reverend Glover, PFLAG encourages financial donations that will tide him over while he finds new work and settles his young family into a new home.”

Australian Marriage Equality is holding a benefit for Rev Glover. Campaign Director, Rodney Croome said: “Matt Glover has stood by us and now we will stand by him”.

Mike Hercock, a pastor at Surry Hills Baptist Church in Sydney and supporter of marriage equality, said: “Pastor Matt Glover is one who stood with integrity of conscience to find a new way forward but not without a sacrifice.”