Churches won't be forced to marry gay couples - MP
Fri, 10 Aug 2012 6:37a.m.
The MP backing a bill to legalise gay marriage says education is the key to overcoming prejudice amongst conservative groups.
Labour's Louisa Wall is facing a backlash from within her own caucus - some MPs representing conservative, Pacific Island communities, are opposed.
She says they're perfectly entitled to vote no as it's a conscience vote, and she's reassuring Pacific church leaders.
"They will not have to marry same-sex couples… [a church leader] said he'd rather go to jail than marry a same-sex couple, and I said, 'You won't have to. My bill doesn't make this mandatory – in fact, you will retain the choice.'"
Ms Wall says MPs should vote with their hearts and represent the differing views of their communities.
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2/09/2012 3:04:55 p.m.
Craig Young wrote:
I see that St Matthews in the City has obtained a legal opinion from Ryken and Associates that contrasts with the suspect one obtained from the lawyer that represented Right to Life New Zealand in their failed vendetta against the Abortion Supervisory Committee. How interesting.
31/08/2012 2:47:50 p.m.
It's also interesting to reflect that when Canadian polygamists attacked Section 293 of the Canadian Criminal Code, they also used 'religious liberty' arguments.In any civilised society, religious practises need to be regulated and limited if they harm others. In the United States, they allow Pentecostal snakehandler sects to operate, even given that almost one hundred members of such sects have passed away from poisonous reptile bites. They also allow Brazilian Santeria organisations to sacrifice small animals, which many New Zealanders would find questionable on the basis of animal cruelty laws. Polygamy, animal cruelty and risktaking reptile handling are justified in the name of religious doctrine. That does not make them moral or legitimate, anymore than opposition to same-sex marriage equality does.
28/08/2012 2:31:49 p.m.
Good point, Dan. And for those who argue otherwise, therefore why is it that churches that do not ordain lesbians and gay men (or women) have not been "forced" to do so? It is because core religious doctrines and ordination are exempted from the Human Rights Act 1993 (although perhaps if the Catholic Church did ordain women, it wouldn't have any problem with pedophiles as it does. The New Zealand Anglican Church certainly doesn't.) Similarly, lesbians and gay men are not about to get bad haircuts, dress awfully, hammer on fundamentalist church doors and ask to be married. The very idea is ridiculous.The state may not own marriage, but militant religious fundamentalists don't, either- especially not secular civil marriage, which is what we're talking about here.
28/08/2012 2:02:11 p.m.
This is exactly as it should be. No church is legally obligated to perform a marriage ceremony for anyone, heterosexual or homosexual. However, it doesn't mean the church or any religious group gets to define marriage in law. That's for the democratically elected legislature to decide.
25/08/2012 2:43:48 p.m.
Who wants one of the most memorable days of their lives conducted by sanctioned peadophiles. Dont see how that is at all consensual unlike other areas of human relations BETWEEN adults.The last time I looked the church has a bet both ways (excuse the pun)ie gay bishops and the like. Preachers of hate and ugliness (devil in drag if you ask me). Like John Lennon said "love is all you need".
24/08/2012 1:49:29 p.m.
Ah, but will most gays want to get married in churches? Not really- most lesbians and gay men are determinedly secular and ignore religious trappings within existing civil unions
22/08/2012 10:30:07 p.m.
"Churches won't be forced to marry gay couples." Not yet anyway, but give them time and the parliament will make them....
20/08/2012 2:19:33 p.m.
NOBODY has the right to deny 2 people who love each other to get married!! Whats going on!! Its the year 2012 WAKE UP NZ and stop this B.S!
13/08/2012 10:22:38 a.m.
And no one will. BW, you are entitled to religious freedom on this issue, and your churches are entitled to follow their doctrines on the same matter. And you do have the right to free speech on this issue. Marriage equality is primarily about civil, secular marriage. It has nothing whatsoever to do with religious weddings, ceremonies, ritual or doctrine. Conservative churches and militant fundamentalists don't 'own' civil marriage, so why should they solely be the ones who determine its content?However, supporters of marriage equality similarly have the right to rebuttal and response, no matter how much some opponents may wish otherwise.
12/08/2012 3:54:31 p.m.
I am chilled by the assumption that the only objection to this bill will be about clergy performing marriages. Ms Wall’s remarks elsewhere suggest she thinks of freedom of religion as something that occurs within church buildings. No. Religious freedom and freedom of speech means that religious people (ordinary citizens not just clergy) must be guaranteed the right to publically affirm that in the eyes of God marriage remains forever a one-man-one-woman relationship despite the government’s opinion. I am not talking about harassing people - I have never harassed gays etc and have no intention of starting now - but I demand the right to be able to tell the truth about marriage without harassment or discrimination. We might have to live with modified legal forms that replace bride and groom with person A and person B (ugh) and we might have to put up with the government’s definition as a legal fiction we have to live with. But this is a matter of freedom of religion. I have no authority to change the words of Jesus and his chosen apostles (e.g. Matthew 19:4-6 and other places) and neither does any prime minister, judge or clergy person.
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