Same-sex “marriage” and the threat to religious freedom

John-Henry Westen and Rachael Wong outside St Patrick's Cathedral Auckland 14 April 2013The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill is due to be read in Parliament for the third and final time tomorrow evening.  If this Bill is passed in the House tomorrow night, it will be legal for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children in New Zealand.  No one will have the right to refuse wedding services (such as venues, flowers, catering) based on their views that marriage can not ever be between two people of the same sex.

Out of concern, Family Life International NZ held two talks given by John-Henry Westen (Editor-in-Chief of LifeSiteNews.com) on the topic – one in Wellington last Thursday night, and the other this past Sunday.  Thousands of people have been blessed with the wisdom of John-Henry over the last two weeks, in particular youth.  Canada is John-Henry’s home, and same-sex marriage has been legal there since 2005.  Enough time has elapsed to see just what the ramifications of legalising same-sex marriage has been for Canadian’s.  New Zealand should heed the warnings.

John-Henry Westen spoke about the following cases where legalising same-sex marriage and normalising homosexual behaviour has led to ordinary citizens finding themselves in trouble with the law.

  • A couple who ran a bed and breakfast refused to let a room to a homosexual couple and kindly asked them to find another bed and breakfast.  As a result the Christian couple were sued and their business was shut down.
  • A printer in a district where there were numerous printing businesses was approached by a customer wishing to have homosexual activist material printed.  The printer, explaining that he disagreed with the material, asked respectfully for the customer to choose another printing company.  Because he refused the printing job, the man was sued and lost his home trying to defend himself.
  • A teacher in Alberta wrote a letter to the editor in support of traditional marriage (note it had nothing to do with what he said in the classroom), and was fired by the school because of his views.
  • A well-known Canadian sportscaster from Toronto was fired after he sent a tweet supporting traditional marriage. He lodged a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, however, it has just been reported that it was dismissed.
  • When same-sex marriage was introduced, marriage commissioners were fired if they were not in support of the legislation.
  • The Knights of Columbus were sued when they refused to hire out a hall in their ownership to a lesbian couple who were wishing to celebrate their union.
  • A Bishop in Calgary was sued $100,000.00 when he wrote the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality in the newspaper.
  • In Ontario, a parish priest allowed a same-sex couple to serve at Mass.  There were 15 parishioners who felt that this was not on, given the Church’s teaching about chastity, marriage and homosexuality.  The parishioners wrote to the Bishop expressing their concern.  The Bishop then wrote to the parish priest explaining that it was unacceptable, only to be sued by one of the homosexual men who were serving for $25,000.00.  Each of the parishioners were also sued for $20,000.00.  Thankfully, it was all settled and the charges were dropped.

Each of these concrete examples of persecution because of religious beliefs are shocking.  It is truely concerning when we realise that this is just the beginning.   John-Henry explained the thinking of the gay lobby that is so desperate to transform what is ‘normal’ saying

“The very first and most important point is to stamp out this opposition.  Remember when I said it was likely conscience driven?  Guess what?  Once you pass same sex marriage your conscience is still there.   But then, the thinking goes ‘but that’s because these kind of people exist in society, we’ve got to stamp out this type of racism…’ “Well these catholics these christians they keep raising up this kind of prejudice in their children so we’ve got to get to the children.’ They do it through schools”

The evidence is so shocking of the indoctrination of school children that it will leave your blood running cold.

  • One province has a curriculum which is to be taught in all public schools, all Catholic schools, all private schools and most schockingly, by all home schooling families. The programme teaches relativism of all religious groups and equality of all types of families.  One family, sure that they could not be told what to teach in their home, took a case to the Supreme Court and lost on a technicality.
  • Catholic schools in Ontario have been forced to teach about anti-gay bulling, but are not allowed to educate the children about Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
  • The Education Minister of Yucon has just recently said that Catholic schools are not allowed to teach against homosexuality because it is against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which is a Charter for all of Canada.

However, John-Henry reminded us that the troubles are worst for those inclined to homosexuality.  He explained that our greatest call and duty as Christians is to love our neighbour citing he Matthew 25:35-40 .

“My brothers and sisters, you have to know that you are called to love… Our brothers and sisters who are inclined to homosexuality are now facing a massive threat with the government stamping approval on this behaviour which they need to know is deadly and we are called to suffer.  And we are called to tell them that it is dangerous for them.  And what about the question ‘when I was inclined to grave sin that would cause my body harm and my soul’s eternal home you didn’t tell me?’  We must love enough to stop same-sex marriage.  We must love enough to tell our brothers and sisters inclined to homosexuality and every other sexual sin that it harms your body and it harms your soul.”

The talk on Sunday, which also included a Prayer Vigil and Procession to St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland was concluded by a short synopsis of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill by an Auckland lawyer, Rachael Wong, Rachael explained that the clause inserted to protect religious ministers in the Bill is very narrow, and questionable.  She is also concerned about children and the changes the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill will make to adoption legislation.  She explains that

“a consequential effect of the bill will be to allow same-sex couples to adopt children by giving them status of spouses… This consequential change to our adoption laws clearly impacts children.  And parliament’s failure to consider the best interests of children throughout the entire legislative process is in contravention of its obligations under the UN Convention of Rights of the Child.”

If New Zealand’s politicians truely have the best interests of all our citizens at heart, they will choose to put this Bill to rest tomorrow and keep marriage as a union legally recognised by the State as only being between one man and one woman.

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