By Lloyd Burr
The select committee for same-sex marriage has heard more submissions on the bill, with a Masterton pastor calling gay marriage an “abomination” and a sin under God.
Scott Lelievre, Masterton Baptist Church’s pastor, is one of many giving oral submissions at the select committee of Labour MP’s Louisa Wall’s Marriage Amendment Bill.
The Bill, which allows two people to marry regardless of gender, passed its first reading in the House earlier this year with the support of around two-thirds of MPs.
Mr Lelievre says he’s vehemently against the bill because it “lowers the prestige” of marriage and change’s God’s will - whereby marriage has always been between a man and a woman.
“As far as we are aware, marriage outside of this, is a marriage of sin. The Government does not have the right to change this,” he says.
Mr Lelievre says his role is to guide people towards God and he fears persecution if his church is forced to marry homosexual couples.
“If we have to go to jail, then we have to go to jail. We are against this and urge Government to vote this down. The church needs a voice and we need to point toward God who is the creator of all things,” he told the committee.
Mr Lelievre says he means no offence by his comments but is just stating what God and his congregation believe.
“The vast majority of churches will accept the stance I have given you now. The state is trying to be God. The state is changing marriage beyond recognition and is enough trouble as it is.
“This will add to the weakening of marriage. It will lower the prestige of marriage. It is adding something that is a sin to something that is of God. God says it is a sin.”
The pastor of another church, Graham Sunderland of Riverstones Church in Upper Hutt, agrees with Mr Lelievre.
He says he agrees with equal rights but relationships are different.
“If you crack an egg in half, you have two shells which can then come together and form one.
“A car is not a truck, they both have motors and wheels but they both have very different roles,” he says.
Mr Sunderland says marriage must be between man and woman, and says it serves the purpose of procreation and raising children.
“Are we going to see in the future that a brother and sister can get married? I mean, that’s the way it could go,” he says.
The committee will hear submissions for the next week before reporting back to the House where it will be debated for a second time.