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Christian Group Celebrates a Year of Civil Unions

Wednesday 26 April 2006

Christian Group Celebrates a Year of Civil Unions

Members of the “Christians for Civil Unions” network, which advocated for the passage of the Civil Union legislation, are delighted with a wonderful first year of Civil Unions. A number of their members are Christian ministers, gay and straight, who have become Civil Union celebrants.

“The Civil Unions we have participated in as celebrants and as guests have been truly memorable and meaningful occasions,” says Rev Dr Margaret Mayman, minister of the Presbyterian Church, St Andrew’s on The Terrace.

“We campaigned because this was a human rights issue and human rights are never an issue of numbers. However, we are sure that many more people than the four hundred and sixty couples who have had Civil Unions have benefited.”

“At Civil Unions, people are profoundly present at the ceremony and its emotional significance is very apparent both for the couple and for the gathered community of family and friends, said Wellington celebrant Clare Brockett. “People feel that they are part of history, part of making New Zealand a truly inclusive society.”

Civil Unions do not detract from marriage. In fact they are different in some positive and significant ways. People are planning them in fresh and diverse ways, creating new traditions and new forms of celebrating..

“From a progressive Christian perspective, this legislation is morally positive. It provides legal protection and social recognition for the range of family constellations that are the reality in New Zealand today,” says Dr Mayman. “What we did not anticipate was the beauty and spirituality of the individual celebrations and the positive impact that they have on the relationship of the couple and on our wider society. They are indeed a blessing.”

ENDS

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