New Zealand churches are calling on parishioners to oppose same-sex marriage but have warned that extreme statements will not help their cause
A coalition of New Zealand churches will use their Sunday sermons throughout September to urge parishioners to campaign against same-sex couples gaining the right to marry.
With only three weeks left for submissions to be accepted by the New Zealand Parliament on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, the New Zealand Christian Network has asked members to write submissions opposed to the reform.
The letter sent to member churches reads, ‘The issue of redefining marriage should be of concern to all New Zealanders.’
‘Among national Church leaders there is widespread agreement that changing the definition of marriage away from one man and one woman, would not be in the best interests of society.’
New Zealand Christian Network’s national director Glyn Carpenter said, ‘This bill, on its own, will not bring about the destruction of society as we know it.’
But he said, ‘it is highly probable that this bill will not be good for New Zealand.’
However he acknowledged that some of the more extreme statements made against the planned reform by opponents had been less than helpful.
‘Some of the comments [I have] heard over the past few weeks lack perspective and would be more likely to undermine the argument than support it,’ a statement from Carpenter read.
‘We also ask people to not look for strategies which aim to undermine the democratic process. Such tactics are unlikely to succeed, and could well have the opposite effect to that intended. The quality of the submissions is even more important than the number of submissions.’
The bill has already passed its first reading in the New Zealand Parliament.
The New Zealand Christian Network’s membership includes most Protestant denominations in New Zealand.