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Another church split emerges over marriage bill

Thu 23 Aug 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News

Dr Stuart Lange Splits continue to emerge in Christendom over the issue of marriage equalty, with a conservative network within the Presbyterian Church speaking out against Louisa Wall’s bill. Presbyterian AFFIRM says it believes marriage is a unique human institution and treasure which has always been about the pairing of a man and a woman, and that re-defining marriage to include same-sex couples would unhelpfully confuse the meaning of marriage. It comes after a number of Presbyterian clergy and laity signed their names to a multidenominational letter to the Catholic Church in support of marriage equality. “We believe, that despite some isolated voices to the contrary, the great majority of active Presbyterians in this country want the definition of marriage to be retained as the union of a man and a woman, and that (as Helen Clark and Tim Barnett said in 2004) marriage is only for heterosexuals and Civil Unions are an acceptable alternative,” spokesman Dr Stuart Lange says. Dr Lange is referring to statements Clark and Barnett made in respect to the Civil Union debate, when there was no intention to change the definition of marriage through altering the Marriage Act. Labour MP Charles Chauvel has since explained that this party sought Civil Unions rather than marriage, because a pragmatic decision was made about what was possible at the time. “If we had gone for marriage the numbers by which Civil Unions just squeaked through probably indicates that we would have suffered a defeat,” he says. LIVE COVERAGE Daily News will report live from Wednesday's Marriage Equality street march through downtown Wellington and throughout the bill's presentation to Parliament, with team coverage from our journalists and photographers along the march route, within the Parliamentary Press Gallery and amongst the bill's supporters in the public gallery.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 23rd August 2012 - 9:15am

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