Archbishop: Same-Sex Couples Do Not Qualify For Marriage

Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge went on the record to state that he believes same-sex couples share a love "like the love of friends," and that they don't "qualify" for marriage.

Speaking to ABC Online, he says:

"That love is like the love of friends.

"It is love and it is valuable but it's not and it can't be the kind of love that we call marriage."

Speaking of the 'rules' that 'protect' marriage, the Archbishop continues: 

"Sibling marrying sibling has always been ruled out.

"People underage have been disqualified from marrying but so too people of the same sex."

He later adds:

"I am concerned to clarify the language and I don't think it's enough to say that 'love is love'.

"There's only one form of love, the many forms of love that we call marriage and that is between a man and a woman, supposedly lifelong and supposedly open to children."

The Sydney Morning Herald has more:

Alex Greenwich, chairman of the Equality Campaign, told Sky News the comparison of same-sex couples to incestuous relationships was "offensive" but "nothing new" in the debate over marriage equality.

Co-chair Janine Middleton, a practising Catholic, also reprimanded the archbishop.

"What we would want people to remember is that when they speak, words can inflict real damage, and there's a need to be respectful in the choice of words we use," she said.

Archbishop Coleridge, through a spokesman, declined a follow-up interview with Fairfax Media on Tuesday.

His comparison of same-sex relationships to friendship evoked Catholic Liberal MP Kevin Andrews' observation last month that while he had "an affectionate relationship with my cycling mates", that did not constitute a marriage.