Robin Bristow is leading a campaign to get Sunshine Coast councils, including Noosa, to support same-sex marriage.
Robin Bristow is leading a campaign to get Sunshine Coast councils, including Noosa, to support same-sex marriage. Geoff Potter

Council won't support equality, funds church: gay activist

A NOOSA gay activist is furious his local government has provided funding to a church when it won't issue a statement in support of marriage equality.

Architect Robin Bristow (pictured) questioned why Noosa Council gave the Noosa Christian Outreach Centre (COC) a $7250 grant in its 2014/2015 round of funding.

Mr Bristow said any organisation that didn't support marriage equality shouldn't be entitled to public funds.

"A lot of (church) groups shouldn't get money because they discriminate," Mr Bristow said.

He has written to all Noosa councillors demanding an explanation why the COC had been given more funding "than Bronwyn Bishop's famous helicopter ride".

"It is very upsetting Noosa Council will not issue a statement in support of marriage equality, which will cost nothing, but is willing to give thousands of dollars to a religious organisation which publicly does not support marriage equality and openly discriminates against homosexuals," he said

Should local government be funding the activities of religious groups?

This poll ended on 12 September 2015.

Current Results

Yes, if the activities are for the benefit of the community

49%

No, not if their religious beliefs discriminate against certain community members

49%

I don't mind where ratepayers' money goes as long as my rubbish is collected every week

1%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Noosa COC senior pastor Josh Usher said the funding was for a program called Street Reach that provided a "hydration station for people coming out of a pub" for nearly a decade.

"It is purely just a service to the community, it has no religious element at all," he said.

"The grant was a lot higher than that in the past, we run it on a shoestring."

He questioned why Mr Bristow believed he was against homosexuals.

"We have never mentioned anything about gay or homosexual relationships or anything along those lines," Mr Usher said.

"It's not in my area of authority to communicate on this topic; it is a matter for politicians to decide on. "I would love to have a chat with them, whoever they are."

Mr Bristow said he was referring to the church's "what we believe" policy online.

It said they believed "God intends sexual intimacy to only be shared between a man and a woman who are married to each other".

"We believe that the only marriage sanctioned by God is the joining of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive, life-long covenanted union," it said further.

Mr Bristow questioned whether Noosa councillors were church members.

"What on earth is council doing giving money to a religious organisation?" he said.

He said the church needed to state whether it supported marriage equality and "do they feel sex between same sex couples is fine".

Noosa Council did not respond to the Daily's request for comment.



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