Dominion Post 1 Sep 2012
An overwhelming majority of churches would not host a same-sex wedding, even if the law is changed to allow it. Almost all the major Christian denominations have vowed not to officiate for gay marriage, as have most other religious groups. The same-sex marriage bill passed its first reading in Parliament this week and must now pass two more readings before it can become law. But Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists and many other smaller denominations have already joined Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Orthodox Jews in prohibiting gay marriages on their turf. Only a handful of churches are standing behind the bill. Labour MP Louisa Wall, champion of the gay marriage bill, said the tepid religious support for the bill was no surprise. “I anticipated that . . . but that’s their choice. I believe every New Zealander should be free from discrimination but we [also] uphold the right for freedom of religion.
….Anwar Ghani, president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, said Muslim law made it clear gay marriages could not be accepted. “Our position is very clear: Islam does not allow marriages of same sex. Islam views marriage not just for recreation, but for procreation,” he said. Lali Singh, general secretary of the New Zealand Sikh Society, said: “We will not allow any gay marriages in the temples. It’s against religious rules – it should be just between a man and a woman.” And the Catholic Church has spoken out repeatedly against Ms Wall’s bill.