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New Zealand: Churches vow not to officiate same-sex weddings

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  1. You mean the Great Enemy refuses to play any part in our marriages??

    I’m shocked~

    1. billyWingartenson 2 Sep 2012, 4:57pm

      Soon they wont be officiating at anything except the rape of kids – the evangels in America are just as bad as the RATZInger estate.

      its hard to get a focus on the evans since they dontn have a formal heirarchy.

  2. Not a problem.

  3. Most gay people in know don’t want a religious service or be married in religious premises, they just want to get married

  4. Yep, I’m crushed. So I won’t be able to get married under the auspices of such hateful, bigoted, misogynistic, backward, self-important, irrelevant organizations? Okay, I’m good with that.

  5. jamestoronto 31 Aug 2012, 9:42pm

    Not a big deal. This announcement is no big surprise. I am sure there will be enough churches, synagogues, etc. that will perform marriages to meet the need for those who want a religious context to their wedding. Here in Canada, as in all the other countries that have equal marriage, this has been the case all long and has posed no problem. A couple may not get to marry in the religion they want but enough religious institutions exist that do fill the need.

    1. jamestoronto 31 Aug 2012, 9:44pm

      Oops…. “the case all ALONG” that is.

  6. Robert in S. Kensington 31 Aug 2012, 9:58pm

    Amazing that in New Zealand there hasn’t been so much of the hateful vile rhetoric that we’ve been getting in the UK from two of the abrahamic cults, especially that disgusting piece of human existence, Cardinal O’Brien of Scotland who persists in trying to stop progress and threatening politicians in the process which will get increasingly worse the more equal marriage languishes in the UK.

    New Zealand’s approach to equal marriage puts us to shame considering the incredible speed in getting a bill past on first reading in just a matter of less than 3 months. Meanwhile, our government is going at a snail’s pace and unnecessary bureaucratic nonsense while the opposition is intensifying it’s m.o. to thwart any attempts to legalise it. This unacceptable lengthy process our government is taking is not helpful.

    1. Perhaps if the UK got on with SSM then it would avoid the hateful vile rhetoric. Afterall the longer they drag it out the bitterer the battle gets for everyone.

    2. billyWingartenson 2 Sep 2012, 5:02pm

      why do you call that birdbrain parrot O’Br human.

      the church dlaims to respect the dignity of every human person and in a hundred ways violates it because they dont consider gays as humans.

      the pope in 2009 UNexcommunicated a holocaust denier Bishop williamson. He grew up in an era in germany when Jews and yes gays were murdered like animals in a slaughter house

      They used these people until they couldnt work any more then mass murdered them

      Any farmer with animals will tell you that you have to consider the animals only for economic benefit

      Was that catholic AH ever a farmer?

  7. Pavlos Prince of Greece 31 Aug 2012, 10:19pm

    I will be not getting to marry in the Catholic church, even being invited from Pope in the St. Peters Basilica. But what about Sixtin Chapel? Well, maybe…(because of beautiful guys in the paintings there, of course)

    1. ‘Sixteen’, Dingbat.

      1. ‘Sistine’ actually

        1. Spanner1960 1 Sep 2012, 12:55pm

          I always thought it was ‘cistern’ actually. ;)

          1. LOL. More apt.

      2. billyWingartenson 2 Sep 2012, 5:04pm

        No wonder the church is full of pedos. They must be lapping at the butts and wee wees of the paintings

  8. I am not so sure this is of great concern to Kiwis.

    What is not said in this article is that NZ is not a particularly religious country – so church wedding are increasingly less common. Main stream christian religions have been in terminal decline for years. Any increase in religious uptake has been due to immigration.

    The last two NZ Prime Ministers campaigned as atheists – something that would be unthinkable in countries like the USA.

    Interestingly in 2010 of the 273 NZ civil unions in that year only 73 were same sex and the rest were heterosexual.

    Further New Zealand offers a non religious licensed celebrate system which is popular for marriage or civil union ceremonies. Not only does this allow couples the opportunity to have great personalities complete the ceremonies they can be completed anywhere such as stunningly beautiful locations.

    1. David Waite 1 Sep 2012, 5:51pm

      I find this to be shockingly great news of which I was completely unaware. “The last two NZ Prime Ministers campaigned as atheists – ” Does this wonderful nation accept immigrants from the U.S. who promise not to be a burden on their economy?

  9. casparthegood 31 Aug 2012, 10:38pm

    Pity they still wany our taxes to support their charitable status and all the rest of the BS

    1. Yes, they should refuse to accept tax money from gays out of their religious conscience if they were being consistent.

      They are just wholly false and empty homophobes on autopilot, vile, tribal, exclusive and discriminatory organisations presenting themselves as paragons of something.

  10. It would be interesting to see their marriage stats. Marriage has bombed since the early 70s. IIRC it was about 450,000 marriage (all heterosexual, obviously) here, and now it’s 230,000, and when my mum got married the first time 70% of all marriages were in church, now it’s 30% and continuing to drop.

    Any pretence that religious organisations are the mainstream associated with marriage is no longer true.

    btw She’s an atheist, dad’s an atheist, her second husband was an atheist, and both times they got married in a church. It was just what people did.

    1. I should have made clear, those stats are for the UK.

    2. Here is some information about New Zealand’s marriage stats :

      1. One thing that may be different about New Zealand is that because it became more common for couples to live together than get married a few years back relationship legislation was introduced. This means by the mere fact of a couple living together (de facto) that after a qualifying period of time, they automatically assume many of the civil rights and protections of marriage/civil unions. So no need to contract into anything as it is automatic.

        1. While I am on a roll also in the old days in New Zealand in terms of ceremony the only alternative to a church wedding was to go to the registry office but they were only open public services office hours e.g., Monday to Friday 9-4 which didn’t suit a lot of people. Then an alternative system was introduced of non religious marriage celebrants who could conduct the marriage ceremony anytime and any where. The churches didn’t like this as they really lost the bulk of their trade to this competition often because they did a better ceremony. Now it is also common for some of these non religious marriage celebrants to also perform non religious funerals. You can imagine the churches are pretty pissed about this encroachment on their ‘traditional’ market.

  11. Churches – hating their way into irrelevance.

  12. Most of us really don’t care. Like most other western societies, New Zealand is quite heavily secularised anyway, and most data suggests LGBT communities are even more secularised than straight people.

    Interestingly, I’ve got some feedback from Buddhists, Anglicans and Reform Jews who do want to officiate…

    1. GulliverUK 1 Sep 2012, 1:42am

      37% gay men and lesbians considered they belonged to a religion.
      (53% of the overall sample including heterosexuals)
      32% of gay men and 24% of lesbians said they were Christian
      But when you go deeper you can see that younger LGB, 18-34, only a quarter were religious, compared to 41% of heterosexuals.

      So less of us, LGB, believe, and of younger people it’s far less. I don’t have a figure for young believers but I think we all know that young people today are far less likely to consider they follow a religion than their parents. It was a cultral thing for many of us – I was sent to Sunday school, and during the summers C.S.S.M. ( !!!!! help !!!!! )

      (details taken from Equality and Human Rights Commission 2009 survey “Sexuality Explored”, page 24-25)

      ps. Elsewhere an online survey put religious belief at 45% of LGB, so I don’t think the figures are a stretch.

  13. GulliverUK 1 Sep 2012, 1:48am

    One thing I would say, it’s not always going to be your decision … what type of wedding you have. I’ve spent years saying I’d never step inside a church ever again. BUT, … if your partner wanted a Quaker or Unitarian or Liberal or Reform Jew wedding, in a religious venue … would the decision be yours alone ?

    If my partner wanted a religious ceremony I don’t know if my feelings of loathing towards religion would be more important than their desire for the ceremony they wanted. Isn’t partnership about compromise and sometimes doing whatever, to make the other happy?

    1. Whatever? I ‘d hope not, for your own sake. Being in a loving relationship doesn’t mean surrender one’s core beliefs. I’d compromise on having cheese instead of dessert, in going to see the fjords of Norway instead of a trip to the French riviera… but I’d never compromise on what I stand for…and a partner that doesn’t stand for similar core values would probably have nothing to do in my life. A partner that embraces a religion that is hating us for who we are would never be a partner in the first place. Talking of compromise in couples often smells of cheap supermarket philosophy. This was not a personal attack , by the way. Just making a point. Cliches are very tricky tools!

      1. David Waite 1 Sep 2012, 6:23pm

        Blue, although I agree with and endorse the point you made, a lifetime of experience has taught me that GulliverUK has the more correct outlook. I have known many long term loving relationships between believers and non-believers. Also, don’t focus on the word “whatever” in its original meaning, in light of the specific denominations GulliverUK named before the “whatever.” I’d suggest that makes his “whatever” quite conditional, as it should be.
        In my case (atheist child of Dominionist missionaries who despises all religions) speaking personally, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience “the thunderbolt” twice in my life. I’ve been an out atheist since 16, the same age I came out gay, 54 years ago. Had either one of those men asked me to commit to him in a synagogue (first one) or cathedral (second man) I wouldn’t have hesitated to do so for even a second. My accepting such a request would simply have been a measure of my unconditional love.

    2. I wonder if you’d ever have a partner with those values in the first place. Personally, I can’t imagine a partnership with someone involved with religion to the extent that he’d want/insist such an important occasion be religious.

  14. radical53 1 Sep 2012, 3:26am

    When you know that most of the queer community is ATHEIST. Makes you wonder why they are so determined to get married in a church.

    The gay community is full of hypocrisy.

    1. really? and who gave you this glorious insight into EVERY gay person’s personal views on religious faith?

      I know more practicing LGBT people than outright atheists.

    2. I don’t think the ‘kiwi queer community’ are saying they want to get married in a church – this is more ‘some’ religious leaders throwing a tantrum by saying they won’t allow it. It is so childish because no one is asking.

      However that is not to say that some religious Kiwi same sex couples who may wish to have a Church wedding and there are religious leasers who have come forward to say they will have no problem conducting this. However the proposed legislation does not compel Churches that don’t want to.

      It is really only the Catholics that have a centralized command structure that can make church wide rules. Incidentally only about 12% of NZ population identify as Catholic and of that group only about 20% attend weekly mass.

      For other religions, particularly the different protestant groups, it is more between the minister and their parish to develop a policy on this and there are liberal parishes.

    3. Spanner1960 1 Sep 2012, 12:54pm

      You can tell simply by using the term ‘queer’ that radical53 is one of those right-on, grow-your-own-yoghurt lefty extremists.

      I suggest you try looking at the bigger picture rather than your own narrow-minded, blinkered little commune.

  15. Isn’t this a little like vegetarians “vowing” to never eat meat after a law is passed that permits the selling of game meat?

    Honestly, who cares if the bigot religions won’t celebrate all unions. It’s not like they’re being forced to.

    There are others that will do it because they believe it is the right thing to do.

  16. Paddyswurds 1 Sep 2012, 10:08am

    Surely the number of GLBs in New Zealand who still deluded enough to believe in sky goblins and snakes that talk etc are a very small finite number. Who, with full mental faculties, amongst the Gay community would want to even enter a church/synagogue/ mosque or temple when those inside have such hate filled hearts toward Gay people. Surely they don’t fall for the old love the sinner hate the sin shyte…..

    1. Paddyswurds 1 Sep 2012, 8:44pm

      …who are still deluded ….**

    2. Yeah, exactly. We’ve never had a very strong Metropolitan Community Church presence here, for instance.

  17. Doesn’t matter. While growing up as gay
    teen, I questioned and challenged religion, because ultimately I knew that I had no choice in being gay. And I knew that those homophobic religious people were totally wrong. Therefore, I don’t subscribe to any religion, which means that I have no desire to get married in a religious establishment. It is nice that there are a lot of religious people that are not homophobic, but personally, I don’t need religion to make me feel happy and fulfilled. And I don’t need a religion to validate my 12 year relationship with my partner.

    1. Steve it is not just gay people who are questioning the religious beliefs they were indoctrinated with as children and then choosing to ditch it as it doesn’t work for them.

      Heterosexual people are doing this in large numbers as well and leaving the church.

      In most countries the fastest growing religion is ‘no religion’.

      It is only in countries with poor education systems or curriculum and/or has serious economic problems that religion grows because people are reliant on the charity arm that many religions provide or the alternative schooling system. These benefits of course come with strings attached and are used as recruitment tools.

      1. This is why the catholic cult is making inroads in some African countries..

        As they lose support in the western educated nations, they peddle their snake oil in the lesser educated nations.

        They are beneath contempt.

  18. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Sep 2012, 12:22pm

    In every country where equal marriage is legal, the majority of religious cults have said something similar. No surprise there and quite frankly, who gives a damn? They’re insignificant, stupid and irrelevant.

    New Zealand has had civil unions longer than we’ve had CPs, yet in just three months, it’s managed to pass the first reading of a bill without any consultation. I just don’t understand the long and drawn-out process taking place in our own country. What exactly is the difficulty? If CPs are so equal to marriage, surely wouldn’t they be the foundation to upgrade to equal marriage without so much fuss and procrastination enabling religious nutters to run rough-shod over it and over us? We already know religious cults won’t be forced to recognise or perform same-sex marriages and the government have given guarantees to that effect. It makes no sense to delay any further.

    1. Unfortunately, there is no separation of Church and State in the UK, as our head of State is head of the Church of England. And our politicians are in business with the church. When politicians grow balls in this country then we might have a chance to not still be de-facto sexond class citizens – oooops, subjects [see the irony?]

    2. We haven’t had civil unions for that much longer than you’ve had civil partnerships. And don’t forget, the UK already has adoption reform and trans-inclusive antidiscrimination laws. Sadly, we don’t, yet.

  19. Isn’t this a bit of a non-issue because the majority of LGBT people would never have their marriage endorsed by the anti-gay, hate-filled religious cults. And, I cannot understand why any LGBT person would want anything to do with religion; do they have some sort of cognitive dissonance or masochistic tendency? OK, a Church may make a pretty backdrop for the photographs but that is about all.

    Why not abandon those preposterous religious beliefs, think for yourself and be happy and gay – it is so easy.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Sep 2012, 5:32pm

      Actually, there are gay people of faith and that’s fine. Some of them would want a religious component for their marriages as well they should. As an atheist, I have no need for such a thing but respect the rights of others to have one if they so choose.

  20. Spanner1960 1 Sep 2012, 12:50pm

    Well that’s not what I would call an Earth-shattering revelation.

    I think it pretty common knowldge that this would be the case, but at least the NZ government have the common decency and foresight to at least make the offer, rather than our bunch of chinless wonders that makes the assumption automatically, just to assure the right-wing religionists that we won’t cross their portals with our unholy matrimonies.

  21. But at least the law allows churches/religious orgs to do SSM if they want to??? unlike the UK where the current proposals are to specifically not allow any church to do SSM.

    1. New Zealand is a more secular democracy than the UK.

      It doesn’t have a House of Lords staked with Church of England appointees. In fact it doesn’t have a House of Lords as there is only a one house parliament.

      What is also interesting about New Zealand is that it was significantly colonized by immigrants from Britain who were economic migrants moving to the other side of the world often because they didn’t like a lot of things about the country they were leaving – particularly the class system and inequality. Unfortunately they didn’t manage to initially get the indigenous people’s rights thing going so well but in the last couple of decades they have been working hard on trying to undo the damage done. While respectful of religion as a personal choice the average Kiwi does not like organised religion sticking its nose too far into the political process. This is one of the quickest things to get the public wound up.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Sep 2012, 5:28pm

      Actually, John, Nick Clegg has said that those denominations who wish to conduct such marriages should be allowed to do so. That’s why we have second and third readings to allow for amendments which is what they are for. Initially, the consultation explicitly indicated no religious marriages, but that will change now that the Quakers, Unitarians, Liberal and Reformed Judaism have contacted the government to make such a provision and at the same time not forcing any others to conduct those marriages who are in opposition.

      1. Spanner1960 2 Sep 2012, 2:30am

        Like anybody listens to that prat.

  22. Churches can stay in the dark ages and die there, for all we care. We don’t need them, we don’t like them. They can bark all they can, but beware we can bite as hard they can .

    1. “we can bite as hard they can .”


      We have rationality and human compassion on our side.

      They have a man made deity, a rule book written by goat herders, and hatred.

  23. Not a problem in the slightest. For those of us who would like to get married in a church we shall just start, or go to our own LGBT churches there.

  24. Mark Young 1 Sep 2012, 7:52pm


  25. ewbd Toronto 2 Sep 2012, 1:47am

    … and so these churches ride off into the sunset of irrelevance and oblivion. Canadian churches have done slightly better dealing with equal marriage. There is no hope that Baptists, Roman Catholics, evangelicals, etc. will perform equal marriages any time soon in New Zealand any more than they do in Canada, but two Canadians will have no problem getting an equal marriage performed by a minister of religion in a church. I’m sure that some NZ churches will become similarly enlightened even if they are not so at this time.

  26. This report is not correct. A number of ministers from many churches have spoken out in opposition. The churches themselves have largely avoided any comments on the subject

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