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Christians Support Civil Unions Bill

Christians Support Civil Unions Bill

Large numbers of New Zealand’s Christian communities are supporting the Civil Unions Bill, says Christians for Civil Unions spokesperson Margaret Mayman.

“So far the country has heard from a vocal and well-organised segment of the Christian community opposed to the Bill. However there are many of us who support the bill, seeing it as important step towards social justice for all New Zealanders,” says Margaret Mayman.

Margaret Mayman is a Presbyterian minister based at Wellington’s St Andrew’s on The Terrace church. The church will host the launch of the “Christians for Civil Unions” network and a panel discussion on the Civil Unions Bill tomorrow night.

“We are pleased to be able to contribute to the country’s understanding of the bill by inviting people from a range of ecumenical perspectives to share their insights and experiences,” says Dr Mayman.

Today thousands of New Zealand couples enjoy loving relationships that are not protected by law. This means that partners are not recognised as family or “next of kin” and can be shut out from important decisions, including medical and funeral arrangements.

The Civil Unions Bill will help solve this problem by giving legal status to de-facto and same-sex relationships. It will provide choice to different sex couples who would like legal recognition of their relationships whilst providing an option to same-sex couples.

“Civil Unions are a contemporary response to the different types of relationship that exist in New Zealand. The Civil Unions Bill is about the law ‘catching up’ with how our society has developed,” says Dr Mayman.

“From a Christian perspective we want to be able to celebrate this diversity, recognising that every person is valued and created in the image of God.”

The discussion entitled “Sacred Civil Unions: ecumenical voices on relationship recognition” takes place at 7.30pm Wednesday 16 July at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. The discussion will include musical performances and supper.

For more information about the campaign to support the Civil Unions Bill, people can visit www.civilunions.org.nz http://www.civilunions.org.nz/ or visit the Christians for Civil Unions web page at http://www.standrews.org.nz/

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