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Church Leaders Unite to Speak up on Marriage Amendment Bill

MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 29 August 2012

70 New Zealand Church Leaders Unite to Speak up on Marriage Amendment Bill

Seventy church leaders, including numerous national heads of major church denominations both Catholic and Protestant, are speaking up in a joint personal statement on the day of the
first reading of the Marriage Amendment Bill, which would allow same-sex couples to marry.

“We have made this joint statement”, said Rev. Dr Richard Waugh, “because members of Parliament need to be in no doubt what mainstream Christian views are on this matter.”

Joint church leaders’ statement:

“This issue is not about equality but about the nature of marriage. All human beings are equal in the sight of both God and society, but not all relationships are the same. Marriage has uniquely been about the union of male and female. The State should not presume to re-engineer a basic human institution. The complementary role of male and female is basic to the very character of marriage, along with having and raising children. Same-sex relationships are intrinsically different, so can never be regarded as true marriage.

Parliament needs to take seriously that, for a very significant proportion of the New Zealand public, marriage is more than just a legal agreement or social contract, but has a sacred character to it, and that many people – Christian and otherwise – feel very strongly that the nature of marriage should not be interfered with.

In 2004, the public was assured by the Prime Minister and other MPs that marriage would be respected as the union of a man and a woman, and that Civil Unions were a good and acceptable alternative, offering equivalent legal protections to marriage itself. It is now time for Members of Parliament to recall and honour those assurances.”

Signed by…

- Rev. Dr. Richard Waugh QSM (Wesleyan Methodist, National Superintendent)

- Archbishop John Dew (Catholic)

- Rev. Craig Vernall (Baptist, National Leader)

- Bishop Patrick Dunn (Catholic)

- Rev. Dr Merv Duffy SM (Catholic, Lecturer in the Theology of Marriage)

- Rev. Dr Stuart Lange (Presbyterian; Senior Lecturer, Laidlaw College)

- Rev. Mark Whitfield (Lutheran, President of Lutheran Church of New Zealand)

- Rev. Max Scott (Anglican)

- Bishop Denis Browne (Catholic)

- Rev. James Lee (Presbyterian)

- Rev. Dr Sarah Harris (Anglican, New Testament Lecturer, Carey Baptist College)

- Rev. Peter Benzie (Wesleyan Methodist, National Secretary)

- Mr Glyn Carpenter (Director, New Zealand Christian Network)

- Rev. Fakaofo Kaio (Presbyterian, Moderator of Northern Presbytery)

- Rev. Rhys Pearson (Presbyterian)

- Rev. Illiafi Esera (Assemblies of God, Superintendent)

- Pastor Eddie Tupa'i (President, North New Zealand Conference, Seventh-day Adventist Church)

- Rev. Steve Maina (Anglican, New Zealand Church Missionary Society)

- Rev. Ian Guy (Presbyterian)

- Bishop Charles Drennan (Catholic)

- Rev. Kim Francis (Presbyterian)

- Rev. Murray Robertson (Baptist)

- Pastor Lloyd Rankin (National Director, Vineyard Churches Aotearoa New Zealand)

- Rev. Michael Hewat (Anglican)

- Rev. Ian Hyslop (Presbyterian)

Rev. Nick Kirk (Anglican, Dean of Nelson Cathedral)

- Pastor Ken Harrison (Harvest Christian Church Papakura, AOGNZ)

- Rev. Steve Millward (Presbyterian)

- Bishop Barry Jones (Catholic)

- Rev. Brian Brandon (Presbyterian)

- Rev. Andrew Carley (Anglican, Leader Latimer Fellowship)

- Rev. Ben Dykman (Presbyterian)

- Rev. Mike Hawke (Anglican)

- Pastor Mike Griffiths (Elim, National Leader)

- Bishop Colin Campbell (Catholic)

- Captain Peter Lloyd (Anglican, former Director, Church Army New Zealand)

- Rev. Dr Stuart Vogel (Presbyterian)

- Rev. Dr Myk Habets (Head of Carey Graduate School, Carey Baptist College)

- Rev. Eric Etwell (Anglican, Administrator of AFFIRM)

- Pastor John Steele (National Leader, New Life Churches International)

- Rev. Dr Mark Keown (Presbyterian; Senior Lecturer, Laidlaw College)

- Mr Peter Eccles (Chairman, Auckland Congregational Union churches)

- Rev. Dr Neville Bartle (National Superintendent, Church of the Nazarene)

- Rev. Steve Jourdain (Presbyterian)

- Pastor Peter Mortlock (Senior Pastor City Impact Church)

- Rev. Lindsay Jones (Baptist)

- Pastor Jerry Matthews (President, New Zealand Pacific Union Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church)

- Pastor Dr Brian Hughes (Calvary Chapel)

- Rev. Emma Keown (Presbyterian)

- Dr Rod Thompson (Principal, Laidlaw College)

- Dr Laurie Guy (Baptist, Vice Principal, Carey College)

- Rev. Dr Colin Marshall (Presbyterian)

- Pastor Rasik Ranchord (New Life Churches International

- Rev. Andrew Marshall (National Director, Alliance Churches of New Zealand)

- Rev. Dr Martin Macaulay (Presbyterian)

- Pastor Bruce Monk (National Leader, Equippers Church)

- Rev. Charles Hewlett (Principal, Carey Baptist College)

- Pastor Alan Vink (National Director,Willow Creek Association NZ)

- Rev. Hung-Yi Pan (Wesleyan Methodist)

- Rev. Steve Jourdain (Presbyterian)

- Rev. Tom Phillips (Presbyterian)

- Rev. Stuart Crossan (Anglican)

- Rev. Peter Dunn (Presbyterian)

- Rev. Ruth Boswell (Wesleyan Methodist)

- Rev. John Gullick (Presbyterian)

- The Very Rev. Rob Yule (Presbyterian, Former Moderator)

- National Leadership Team (Christian Churches New Zealand)

- Rev. Toeaina Leiite Setefano (Presbyterian – PIC)

- Rev. Stephen Woo Taek Nam (Presbyterian)

- Rev. Dr Geoff New (Presbyterian)

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