Will Definition of Marriage Bill threaten religious freedom?

Louisa Wall says much of the opposition to the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill was down to inaccurate “scaremongering” such as claims churches would be forced to marry gay couples. But according to Family First’s Bob McCoskrie experience shows that those assurances are shallow promises.

To support his contention McCoskrie sites the following facts:

  • Canada: A court has ruled that marriage officials must marry homosexuals.
  • USA: The army is threatening to court-martial Chaplains for ‘religious, conscience’ objection to homosexuality.  A New Jersey judge ruled against a Christian retreat house that refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its premises, ruling the Constitution allows ‘some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals. A proposed Kansas law would force churches to host same-sex ‘weddings,’ receptions.
  •  UK: A Christian marriage conference was banned for their opposition to gay marriage. A Tory MP has called for churches to be banned from holding marriages if they refuse gay couples.
  • The Netherlands: MPs voted for a change in the law to prevent civil servants refusing to conduct gay marriages.
  • Sweden: Anyone challenging the homosexualist agenda in public in Sweden can be sent to prison, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that this does not constitute any violation of rights.
  • Wales is moving against Catholic schools that are organizing students to protest a new government plan to back gay marriage in that country

Labour’s MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio says he will be voting against the The definition of Marriage bill because there is widespread opposition within his electorate which has the highest population of Pacific Islanders in New Zealand, making up 58.8 per cent of voters.

Some ministers in Pacific churches were preaching against the bill and against Labour.

“This issue cuts deep into fundamental beliefs,” he told Radio New Zealand. “It will divide the community.”

“I feel somewhat betrayed by raising issues such as this when there are more prominent, more weightier issues such as jobs and income and putting food on the table and paying for the bills.”

An online petition opposing the legalisation of same-sex marriage has been signed by nearly 20,000 people in its first week.




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