Compassion Marks Christian Views On Civil Unions
Christians for Civil Unions
June 18, 2004
For immediate issue
Compassion and hope mark Christian views on Civil Unions
"When the time comes, I expect my partner to the be the chief mourner at my funeral" was the plea of one of the speakers at the launch of Christians for Civil Unions" on Wednesday night in Wellington, where 80 people turned out to support the government's Civil Union Bill and to celebrate the launch of the Christians for Civil Unions network.
Meeting organiser Rev Dr Margaret Mayman said "A small section of New Zealand Christians has been very vocal in its opposition to civil unions, but tonight it is clear that there is also a lot of considered Christian support."
A panel of church members from the Presbyterian, Anglican, Catholic and Baptist churches discussed their support of the legislation. Roger Swanson underlined one of the key problems that the Bill will resolve, that same-sex couples do not have the same next of kin status as married couples. Currently they are not make decisions about on behalf of one another when one partner is incapacitated due to illness or dies. Rev Dr Alan Jamieson explained that he supported the Bill because of two key elements in the Baptist tradition: the separation between church and state; and the right of all people to decide their own stance on moral issues. "The Bill removes the obvious discrimination in favour of married couples, while protecting the rights of religious groups to maintain their tradition's view on marriage."
Audience members spoke warmly of the Bill, in particular the new opportunity that it offers opposite-sex couples to escape some of the connotations of traditional marriage and to focus on commitment to relationships.
Rev. Dr. Margaret Mayman St. Andrew's on The Terrace