Gay weddings ban: Churches say no

NZ Herald 23 April 2013
Gay marriage has been legalised by Parliament – but it is still banned by most of New Zealand’s 10 main religions.

A Herald survey has found that five of the top 10 – Catholics, Baptists, Ratana, Mormons and Muslims – are unlikely to bend their strict opposition to gay marriages despite last week’s 77-44 vote in Parliament to legalise same-sex marriage.

The Anglicans are also opposed, at least for now.

The new law says celebrants from organisations approved to conduct marriages are not obliged to marry a same-sex couple if it is against “the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation”.

Catholic bishops’ spokeswoman Simone Olsen said: “No Catholic priests will be conducting same-sex marriages, and no Catholic church will be used as a venue.”

Auckland Anglican Bishop Ross Bay issued a statement yesterday instructing his clergy not to marry same-sex couples until a commission chaired by former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand reports on the issue in May next year.

“In the meantime the church will continue to work with its definition of marriage as between a man and a woman,” the bishop said.

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