Hillsong Pastor Urges Christians Not to be 'Silent Majority' in Same-Sex Marriage Vote
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Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston is telling Christians to take action and not be a "silent majority" during Australia's upcoming same-sex marriage vote in September.
"Whatever your view on this issue, it is undeniably one that is important to the fabric of our social structure. Changing the definition of marriage has wide-reaching ramifications and should not be taken lightly by any society," Houston wrote in a press release.
"All Australians should be a part of this process, not just a select few," he added.
More than $122 million worth of paper ballots will be sent to Australians asking them whether gay marriage should be legal.
It comes after the country's ruling party refused to vote on a gay marriage bill. This vote will serve as public feedback only.
However, if the majority of the country says they are in favor of same-sex marriage, a bill could pass through Parliment rather quickly.
"Of all the concerns one might have about this issue, the least one to be concerned about is what will happen in the Parliament if the plebiscite is approved by the Australian people," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said last year. "It will sail through, absolutely sail through."
The prime minister told CNN the vote will "give all Australians a say" in the matter.
"I'll be voting yes, as well (my wife), I'm very open about that but the Australian people are never wrong when they vote, whether it's for governments or on matters like this, their vote will be respected," he said.
Houston tells Christians to be a part of the conversation and not waste the opportunity to take a stand for their beliefs.
"I believe that many Australians who are often referred to as the 'silent majority' feel strongly on this subject but allow louder and often more aggressive voices to control the public dialogue," Houston wrote.
Houston said that believers should not allow the fear of being labeled a "bigot" stop them from casting a vote.
"For Christians, the issue is also a matter of faith and biblical teaching, something that should never be mocked or downplayed by those with opposing views," he said.
"Some of those advocating for change to the definition of marriage have confused faith convictions with bigotry however they must understand that Christian - and other religious beliefs - are extremely important to those who hold them and in fact are vital to a tolerant and free society," he added.
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