Press Release: Response to Gateway coverage
Today the Melbourne Age reported on a dispute between Keith Paulusse and the leadership of Gateway Adventist Company. There are credible reports from those involved that there is substantially more to the story than was reported. These additional details are critical for a balanced understanding of events.
Keith Paulusse was an active participant at Gateway. He informed the leaders he was gay, but celibate. Rather than react with hatred or homophobia, Gateway continued to embrace Keith. He served as a religious teacher on Saturday mornings and Gateway permitted Keith’s conversational English language school to operate on its premises free of charge.
It came to Gateway’s attention, however, that Keith was advocating for the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples – both on social media and in person to visitors to Gateway. The Adventist Church in Australia, with which Gateway is affiliated, has publicly defended marriage against efforts to redefine it. Gateway’s leadership, therefore, informed Keith that his advocacy in opposition to the Church’s position was incompatible with him continuing in his current capacity. Keith was unwilling to alter his advocacy.
There is no Adventist region-wide policy on how to interact with local church members who support the redefinition of marriage. Rather, precisely who can serve in various church capacities is a question for the local church board. Gateway’s board decided to end its relationship with Keith’s language school.
The Adventist Church stands behind the principle that every entity in a free society has the right to determine whether the views espoused by those who represent or associate with it are compatible with its values. In our diverse society, there are innumerable other locations where the school can meet. Indeed the school has relocated and is operating successfully at the new location. The Adventist Church wishes Keith well in this endeavour, and is working to bring together those involved in the dispute.
For the Seventh-day Adventist world church’s official statements on marriage, including the biblical basis for those views, please see:
To see the original article posted by The Age, click here.
James Standish is the communications director of the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.