Australia’s most senior Anglican, Melbourne Archbishop Dr Philip Freier, referred that decision to the church’s internal appellate tribunal in September.
The tribunal was asked to consider whether the regulation was consistent under the church’s national constitution and valid under canon law.
The tribunal then called for submissions on the matter.
A second referral – to be considered concurrently – asked the tribunal to decide more generally if blessing services other than for heterosexual unions should be allowed.
In her address to the Wangaratta synod in August, which forms part of the diocese’s submissions to the tribunal, Reverend Dorothy Lee argued the blessing of same-sex Christian couples “seems a small thing to ask”.
“There are no theological grounds for refusing to bless civil unions,” Rev Lee said.
“On the contrary, faithful and loving Christian couples, whatever their sexual orientation, gender, race or class, should be able to ask for and receive the church’s blessing.”
However, of the 33 other submissions to the tribunal, just four support blessing same-sex marriages.