Pacific Conference of Churches responds to NZ marriage bill | Pacific Beat

Pacific Conference of Churches responds to NZ marriage bill

Pacific Conference of Churches responds to NZ marriage bill

Updated 18 April 2013, 16:45 AEST

Same sex couples in New Zealand could get married as early as August, after New Zealand's parliament last night voted to redefine marriage as a union between two people, rather than between a man and a woman.

But the Pacific Conference of Churches, which represents 38 Protestant and Catholic Churches in the Pacific region, says it's unmoved.

General Secretary Francois Pihaartae told Cathy Harper in his view, same sex marriage remains against God's will.

Presenter: Cathy Harper

Speaker: The General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, Francois Pihaartae



PIHAARTAE: God has created man and woman so that they can live together, but as times and then time in the past the minds of the people also changed. And that's created such a decision that government has taken on board in their agenda to decide to allow the same sex marriage. So I think it's a freedom to do it but for us as churches we stand against that decision of the government.
HARPER: Do you think that the move in New Zealand creates a different sort of context or conversation about same sex marriage in the region?
PIHAARTAE: I don't think so because knowing our Pacific churches they are very much conservative. And also really hard to convert to this new idea of such an issue on same sex marriage. I don't think that the decision of the New Zealand government will change the discussion, and will give churches avenues or channels to discuss about that.
HARPER: There's some talk in Australia today about Australia gay couples probably will go to New Zealand to get married. Do you think that gay couples in the Pacific generally will do that?
PIHAARTAE: We are against that also, I think we cannot compromise to the liberty and freedom of the people, of the human being. But only can make the decision, but to turnover the decision of the church no, I don't think it will change, and I don't think the church, they might go to New Zealand to get married, but when they come back they are still not outside the church, but the church will not recognise their marriage. In all our policies in churches we do have those kind of people among ourselves, like gay or lesbian, they live with us, and we cannot ignore them as human beings. But we are there to also assist them to live like normal life as others are living. But they are welcome to come, but the recognition of the marriage is not acceptable.

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