Same-sex couples may soon be able to be blessed by Anglican churches in the North East, if a proposal from Bishop John Parkes is accepted at an upcoming synod meeting.
The church will continue its practice of only conducting marriages that are between one man and one woman, but Bishop Parkes has spent the past year looking for a solution for LGBTQIA people of faith who, after being legally married, would like the relationship blessed by God.
He may have found it, with the idea to bless the couple rather than the marriage itself.
"In the Anglican Church, as much as some of us might not like it, the church's position on marriage is clear," he said.
"I believe the church ought to bless people, to ask God to help strengthen them to live faithfully, to live with integrity, to live fully.
"That's what I'm proposing to bring to the synod."
A vote will be held when the Synod of the Diocese of Wangaratta - also made up of members from Albury, Wodonga and Corryong - meets on August 30 and 31.
"I am constrained by the canon of constitution of our church, which I am sworn to uphold ... I'm trying to go as far as I can within the limits placed upon me to say LGBTQIA people the church understands your journey and rejoices in your journey and wants you to exercise your faith in a church, which doesn't reject you out of hand," Bishop Parkes said.
"To those gay and lesbian Christians, who have felt so far absolutely excluded by their church, I want to say that in so far as we're able to welcome you, we welcome you."
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The reaction from LGBTQIA people has been "joy and relief", but there has been some backlash from parts of the Anglican community.
Bishop Parkes obtained theological advice saying the blessings would be is appropriate for the church and legal advice saying they would not be in breach of the Anglican Church constitution.
He rejected claims he was being heretical or going against the teachings of the bible.
"It's a difficult issue in our church, there's no point in denying that. There are those certainly who think that I am doing absolutely the wrong thing," he said.
"If I have done something wrong that needs to be disciplined those who have the power to discipline me must do so.
"I believe that I've done nothing wrong and I will not hide in the corner."
The proposal will allow Anglican priests the ability to refuse to conduct blessings for same-sex relationships if they do not personally agree.
Bishop Parkes said he did not want to influence the synod, but believed there was a good chance his proposal would be successful.
"My experience of my synod is that they are loving, careful people who will want to do the right thing both by the church and by gay and lesbian people," he said.
Anglican Church of Australia Primate Philip Freier will refer the proposal to the appellate tribunal for a decision if it is passed.