Australia's Catholic Church is ramping up its opposition to gay marriage, threatening to dismiss staff who marry their same-sex partner if it becomes legal.
In an exclusive Fairfax report, the archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, says the church expects teachers, nurses and other employees to hold the Catholic faith and beliefs on marriage.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe -- the chairman of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education -- also cautioned teachers against undermining their schools' values if marriage laws are changed.
"In accepting a role in a Catholic school, staff will recognise their responsibility to conduct themselves in such a way as not to undermine the fundamental ethos of the school," he told Fairfax Media.
"Like all other employers, the Catholic Church should be able to ensure its values are upheld by those who choose to work for the organisation."
Opponents and supporters of marriage equality are boosting their efforts as the countdown to the federal government's postal vote to decide the issue continues.
Last week, the 'Yes' campaign announced Olympic legend Ian Thorpe as the official face of its campaign in favour of changing the Marriage Act.