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Provincial Statement on Same Sex Unions-2013

Provincial Statement on Same Sex Unions-2013

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Published by geoconger
Church of the Province of the West Indies
Church of the Province of the West Indies

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: geoconger on Apr 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Provincial Statement on Same-Sex Unions
April 25, 2013The House of Bishops and Standing Committee of the Church in the Province of the West Indies meeting at Bamford House in Barbados extend greetings to thefaithful of the Province and the leaders of our nations charged with responsibilityfor governance.In the course of our deliberations we have taken note of the fact that our nationsare facing serious economic and social challenges which are currently taxing thehuman and material resourcefulness of our peoples, a situation complicated bydevelopments in the global economy.We have taken note also of trends within countries of the developing world andinternational forums, and in which these countries exercise a controlling interest,in which matters related to human sexuality have been elevated to the level of human rights and are being promulgated as positions which must be acceptedglobally. Frequently, failure to conform by developing nations like our own,results in the threat of various sanctions, including the withholding of economicaid.More specifically, there is a re-definition of gender to accommodate gay, lesbianand transgendered people, and the creation of a plurality of definitions whichleaves the issue of gender to self-definition, thereby dismissing traditionaldefinition of male and female. Additionally, there is the passage of legislationamong a number of metropolitan nations whereby marriage is defined as ahuman right in which any two persons may be joined, inclusive of persons of thesame sex. The “marriage” of persons of the same sex is justified as a human righton the basis of marital equality with heterosexual unions.While we acknowledge that there is a diversity of family patterns within ourCaribbean region, these have been understood by our people to be between aman and a woman, whether defined in terms of the natural order of creation oron the basis of religious beliefs which see these grounded in the purpose of God.
We reaffirm marriage as “a creation ordinance, a gift of God in creation and ameans of His grace. Marriage, defined as a faithful, committed, permanent andlegally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman, is central to thestability and health of human society. It continues to provide the best context forthe raising of children”. (1) Characteristic of our patterns of cohabitation andfamily life is the notion that such unions are based on a relationship between a
and a
. The idea of such unions being constituted by persons of thesame sex is, therefore, totally unacceptable on theological and cultural grounds.While we recognize that the role of the Church and the State are not the same,the Church’s task being distinctly different from the State, the Church’s mandateis informed by pastoral and doctrinal concerns and in drawing the attention of thefaithful to the source and purpose of marriage, and in solemnizing such unions.The governments have the responsibility of providing the kind of legal frameworkfor protecting, but not defining, this most basic social institution on which thestability of society and the socialization of its members rest, as well as protectingthe members of such unions against abuse and injustice.We are conscious of the fact that our political leaders within our Caribbean regionare being subjected to pressures from nations and institutions from outside of ourregion. Frequently they are pressured to conform to the changes beingundertaken in their redefinition of human sexuality and same-sex unions, underthreat of economic sanctions and the loss of humanitarian aid. We urge ourleaders of government and of civil society, as well as the people of our nations, toresist any attempt to compromise our cultural and religious principles regardingthese matters. The dangling of a carrot of economic assistance to falteringeconomies should be seen for what it is worth and should be resisted by peopleand government alike.The threat and use of economic sanctions are not new experiences for us, neitheris the claim to a superior morality convincing for peoples who have known theexperience of chattel slavery in our past. While claiming to invoke human rightsas the basis for such imposition, we submit that the same principle must allow us

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