Presbyterians make clear their opposition to same sex marriage
With Westminister due to debate the issue of same sex marriage tomorrow, Tuesday 5 February, the Presbyterian Church has again stated its clear opposition to any change in the present marriage legislation.
In a letter to all sitting Northern Ireland MP's the Church expresses its "strong support for the retention of the present legal definition of marriage as 'the permanent and lifelong union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others'." It also asks MP's to "resist any change in the existing law."
In particular the Presbyterian Church takes issue with those who consider that the current legal definition of marriage should be changed on the grounds of equality.
"All of the significant legal benefits and rights available through marriage are already equally available through civil partnership," argues the Church. "It would be entirely inappropriate to demolish a fundamental building block of society, such as the historic view of marriage, when such a step is not actually necessary."
While recognising that the change to be debated at Westminster will only apply to England and Wales, Presbyterian Moderator Dr Roy Patton believes it is still a matter that ought to give us serious concern.
"I believe that if such a change takes place at Westminster it will increase the pressure for such a development in Northern Ireland as well. We must not think that it could not happen here. We need to stand with Churches and fellow Christians who are seeking to retain the present definition and opposing the government's proposals," saId the Moderator.