PRESS RELEASE - 5 February 2013
Leaders of Britain’s Black Majority churches urge
the government to rethink its same-sex marriage proposals
On the day of the government’s second reading of the bill in Parliament to redefine marriage, leaders of Black Majority churches warn of the dangers and unintended consequences in such a move. Black church leaders reaffirm their understanding and commitment to marriage as a lifelong partnership of a man and a woman. Marriage, they argue, is foundational to society’s well-being and children flourish best in loving, stable, heterosexual relationships.
Bishop Eric Brown, presiding bishop of the New Testament Church of God says: “Marriage is important in our society. It is a foundational institution for nurturing and bringing up children in a balanced home context. I believe we will serve the interests of future generations well by maintaining the understanding that marriage is between a man and a woman. The government needs to think long and hard before it embarks on redefining this historic institution. The proposal to allow same sex marriage in the name of equality is both dangerous and damaging with serious social and moral implications. I urge them to rethink the proposal.”
Bishop Wilton Powell, presiding bishop of the Church of God of Prophecy expresses concern about some of the wider implications of the government’s intention in moving away from the traditional and cultural meaning of marriage: “The attempt to redefine marriage—the move to include same sex couples in the definition— is an ill-advised departure from both our cultural and Christian understanding of marriage. This move is bound to have serious unintended consequences, especially for those who consciously adhere to the historic Christian view that marriage is between a man and a woman. People who work in our churches, schools and other public institutions may find themselves discriminated against because they disagree with the government’s new definition of marriage.”
Leaders of Black Majority churches encourage their members to pray that the government will reconsider this proposal and that the voices of opposition inside and outside Parliament will be listened to.
- The National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF) represents the concerns of leaders and members of African and Caribbean churches in the UK. It is supported by key church and denominational leaders, including, Rev Father Olu Abiola, Special Apostle John Adegoke, Bishop Doye Agama, Rev Esme Beswick, Bishop Alvin Blake, Bishop Eric Brown, Rev Celia Appiagyei-Collins, Bishop John Francis, Bishop Paul Hackman, Pastor Agu Irukwu, Bishop-elect Delroy Powell, Bishop Wilton Powell, Dr Michel Sacramento, Rev Nezlin Sterling, Pastor Ian Sweeney, Apostle Alfred Williams