Church Responds to New Zealand Same Gender Marriage Bill
Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Select Committee
New Zealand Parliament
Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Submission from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
The protection of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is a matter of the common good and serves the wellbeing of the couple, of children, of civil society and humankind. We join with others to affirm that marriage in its true definition must be protected for its own sake and for society’s good.
We also assert the existing rights of religious groups to solemnize marriage exclusively between one man and one woman according to religious tradition and individual conscience. The meaning and value of marriage precedes and transcends any particular society, government or religious community. It is a universal good and the foundational institution of all societies. It is bound up with the nature of the human person as male and female and with the essential task of bearing and nurturing children.
We also recognize the serious consequences of altering this time-honoured definition. One of these consequences – interference with the religious freedom of those who continue to affirm the true definition of “marriage” – warrants special attention within our faith communities and throughout society as a whole. We believe that changing the definition of marriage would have far-reaching negative implications for the nation, both legal and social.
Therefore, we encourage all people of goodwill to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to consider carefully the far-ranging impact for religious freedom if marriage is redefined. We especially urge those entrusted with the public good to support laws that uphold the time-honored definition of marriage.
Because our society includes many groups with differing views, we reiterate our desire for protection of marriage to be pursued in a respectful way, acknowledging society’s diversity.
Elder Michael Roberts
Area Seventy, Pacific Area
The Family- A Proclamation to the World